Australian Council on Children and the Media

Bubble Heroes: Starfish rescue - Fat Fish Games

app image

Short takes

In this underwater-themed puzzle game the player needs to match bubbles of the same colour in order to pop them. Caution: Parental guidance recommended for children under 13 years due to ads, in-app purchases, social media connectivity and links to an external merchandise provider.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Bubble Heroes: Starfish rescue was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 September 2018.

About the app

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

Name of app: Bubble Heroes: Starfish rescue
Developed by: Fat Fish Games
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 4+
ACCM suggested age: Not suitable for children under 5 and parental guidance is recommended for children under 13 due to ads, in-app purchases, social media connectivity and links to an external merchandise provider.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Bubble Heroes: Starfish rescue contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

A representative number of levels played (42).

App description

At Rockford Reef, starfish and other sea creatures need to be saved from the evil octopus Boris or dangerous currents. The player can do this by shooting bubbles towards the top of the screen which is filled with bubbles of different colours. If a cluster of two or more bubbles of the same colour is hit, the bubbles pop. Each level sets a task, for example destroying all bubbles surrounding a sea creature, collecting starfish at the top of the screen, or working against a rising current, and needs to be completed within a limited amount of moves. At the time of the review the game comprised 395 levels. As the player proceeds through the levels, new challenges and boosters become available.

Reviewers comments

The game has an entertainment focus rather than an educational or learning focus – some fine motor skills are required to aim and fire at the bubble, and strategic thinking helps to collect more points and reach the level's goal within fewer moves. Actual game play is free of ads. There is a section that advertises related apps – clicking on an icon leads to the app store. There is also a link to an external website selling merchandise products and connectivity with Facebook. The player can purchase in-game currency, which can be exchanged for extra lives and moves. Clicking on a product leads to the app store where one click confirms the purchase. Parents are therefore advised to disable in-app purchases in the device settings to avoid unauthorised purchases.

In App purchasing

In-app purchases include various packages of in-game currency ranging from $1.49 to $149.99.

Online information

The player is not required to create a user account or to provide any personal information. The app encourages the player to connect with other players on Facebook in order to share game progress and to exchange lives. This requires creating or logging into an existing Facebook account.

Gambling

At the time of review, the reviewer found no simulated gambling content.

Advertising and product placement

Game play is free from ads and product placements. There is a specific section which contains ads for related apps as well as a link to a website selling merchandise product.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

None noted.

Coarse language

None noted.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

None noted.

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About our colour guide

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.