Australian Council on Children and the Media

Beach Buggy Blitz - Vector Unit

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Short takes

Beach Buggy Blitz is an animated racing game. Caution: In-app purchasing, Social Media interactivity, advertising.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Beach Buggy Blitz was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 June 2016.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Beach Buggy Blitz
Developed by: Vector Unit
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: iTunes Store: 4+, Play Store: General.
ACCM suggested age: 13+ due to in-app purchasing,Social Media interactivity, advertising.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Beach Buggy Blitz contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This app was reviewed for approximately 1 hour.

App description

Beach Buggy Blitz is an animated car racing app. The objective is to drive through various courses, avoiding obstacles and collecting coins along the way which can then be used to upgrade items within the game. The skills required to play the app include quick reflexes and motor skills to utilise the central functions of the app.

Reviewers comments

When the app is first opened, the player is asked to select a ‘Steering Option’ – either tilting the device to manually turn left and right or to touch the sides of the screen to steer their vehicle. Once an option is selected, they are also given instructions on where the vehicle brakes are located on the screen (on the bottom left-hand and right-hand corners). Written instructions are then shown on the screen, informing players to ‘Drive as fast as you can!’, that ‘Checkpoints refill your time’, and to ‘Collect coins for upgrades’.

Gameplay subsequently begins – players are shown a third-person view of a character sitting in a small one-person vehicle. The car accelerates on its own, and players must steer left-or-right, or use the brakes to slow down. Players ride along a pre-determined route, and if they veer off or fall into a lake/river, they must tap the ‘redo’ button on the right-hand side.  This takes players back to the last checkpoint they crossed when driving. Along the way, there are floating gold coins which players are able to collect. Players are able to pause their game at any point, but only have a set amount of time to drive the course – if they run over a small stopwatch icon, they will be afforded slightly more time to run the track. Players attempt to run through as many stopwatches as possible, to ensure they have the longest period of time possible to obtain gold coins. After running out of time, players are shown a screen labelled ‘Nice driving!’.  This shows the distance they covered, number of coins collected, as well as any achievement bonuses that were obtained. When attempting to close this pop-up window for the first time, players are told ‘Before you go, how about some more coins to get you started?’. The app then informs players that they can spend coins to unlock and upgrade cars, drivers, power-ups and gadgets. For example, power-ups such as a speed boost, shield, or coin magnet can be bought for 200 coins each.

Players are able to purchase gold coins within the app for real-life currency. These can be bought in packages of 2000 coins for $0.99, 5000 for $1.99, 10,000 for $2.99, 25,000 for $4.99, or 100,000 for $9.99. Coins can additionally be obtained by logging in via Google+, Facebook, or Twitter – players will receive 100 coins for connecting to each of these social media outlets.

Furthermore, it is possible to watch video advertisements in exchange for ‘Free coins!’. These ads are full-screen and must be manually closed, and include advertisements for gaming apps such as ‘Cooking Fever’. One of the icons on the main menu also contains a link to other advertised apps – clicking on the small icon brings up a static pop-up, which players can click on to be taken to the app store in order to download the app (e.g. Shine Runner Free, by the same developers). None of the advertised apps appear to contain inappropriate content.

Within the ‘Career’ menu, players are able to view their Stats (including things such as longest distance travelled, average coins collected per game, total time played, etc), Achievements (e.g. ‘Discover the swap area’, ‘Discover the Snowy Mountain area’, etc), as well as a Leaderboard (players are able to share their high scores, and view the high scores of other people in their Google+ circle).

As players progress through the game, they are able to race through different scenic routes and new paths. Each path is more challenging, with sharper turns and additional obstacles that can delay/stop players while they are driving. Power-ups and upgrades to vehicles and characters additionally assist players in meeting the new challenges of more difficult courses.   

In App purchasing

Yes: Players are able to purchase gold coins within the app for real-life currency. These can be bought in packages of 2000 coins for $0.99, 5000 for $1.99, 10,000 for $2.99, 25,000 for $4.99, or 100,000 for $9.99

Online information

Coins can additionally be obtained by logging in via Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.  Players will receive 100 coins for connecting to each of these social media outlets. Players are also able to share their high scores, and view the high scores of other people in their Google+ circle on the in-game Leaderboard.

Gambling

No gambling content was found during this review.

Advertising and product placement

It is possible to watch video advertisements in exchange for ‘Free coins!’. These ads are full-screen and must be manually closed, and include advertisements for gaming apps such as ‘Cooking Fever’. One of the icons on the main menu also contains a link to other advertised apps – clicking on the small icon brings up a static pop-up, which players can click on to be taken to the app store in order to download the app (e.g. Shine Runner Free, by the same developers). None of the advertised apps appear to contain inappropriate content.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

No game playing behaviour which may be of concern to parents was found during this review.

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Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.