Australian Council on Children and the Media

Egg Baby - Nix Hydra Games

app image

Short takes

Egg Baby is a pet-care app that allows players to buy, hatch and raise eggs into small animals.

Age
4
5
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8
9
10
11
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15

No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Egg Baby was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 20 June 2014.

About the app

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

Name of app: Egg Baby
Developed by: Nix Hydra Games
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play, Facebook
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Everyone; iTunes Store: 4+; Facebook: 13+
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Egg Baby contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This review focuses on levels 1-10.

App description

Egg Baby is a virtual pet game that affords players the opportunity to grow, hatch and raise a small egg into a creature pet. It involves conducting basic care tasks, as well as playing games and activities with the eggs. The objective is to earn money/experience points, as well as hatch the eggs and purchase new ones. The skills required to play are spatial/visual and motor skills, in addition to problem solving skills, and are used when playing the interactive games. 

Reviewers comments

When the app opens, players are taken to a screen displaying a mushroom-like house. The app describes this as The Neighbourhood, and informs players that the house ‘is your Egg Home’. It then states that this is where players will keep their eggs. Their job is to care for these eggs until they hatch. Each egg has its own bed, and players may buy more beds in order to raise up to six eggs at once. Players are then guided through the ‘adoption process’ via a tutorial – information is given on the practice egg. For instance, the game states that ‘This Egg is specially prepared for first time Egg owners. It isn’t very bright and doesn’t take long to hatch.’ The Hatch Time is listed as 30 minutes, and the Difficulty is listed as 0 of 4. It costs 3,000 in-game coins to purchase, and players begin with 20,000 from the start of the game. Players may enter an Egg Baby name after this, and are given instructions on caring for it: ‘Take care of your egg and it will reward you with coins! Make sure to watch the meters (green = good). Growing eggs need plenty of sleep. A frequently tickled egg is a happy egg. Eggs have healthy appetites’.

The app goes on to state that keeping their egg alive is crucial, and to not let them get ‘too hungry, sad, dirty or tired’, or it will lose health and (if not given medicine) will die. Players may opt to tickle their egg by touching the screen with their finger – they are told not to tickle too much, or their will irritate the egg. Players must also feed their egg by opening the food inventory and tapping/dragging an item of food towards their egg.

Different rooms of the house have different activities. For example, within the bathroom, players may clean their egg if it has gotten dirty. This is done by touching the screen and moving the brush over the egg in places where there appears to be dirt. However, as with the tickling, over-washing may have negative effects and cause a rash to form. Players may encourage their egg to read books, which in turn shapes their egg’s personality and controls what creature it hatches into (e.g. a Pinata).

It is possible to purchase a backyard expansion in order to obtain an additional six creature slots, allowing players to retrieve previously donated animals from the zoo if they needed to give them away due to space limitations. This upgrade costs $2.11. Players may also ‘unlock an egg type’, thus making it ‘completely free and available for adoption’. Making this $2.23 purchase also removes all ads within the app. In addition to these options, players may elect to buy coin packages – they may obtain ‘Some Coins’ for $1.93, ‘Much Coins’ for $9.68, ‘The Motherload of Coins’ for $25.62, and ‘The Mostest Coins’ for $51.25. Each of these packages offers a different number of coins, ranging from 100,00 for the cheapest package, and 5,000,000 for the most expensive.

Within the game, it is possible to purchase items for the eggs. For instance, within the food inventory, items may be purchased in large quantities for a set number of coins. When purchasing books (used to shape the egg’s personality), players are given a short blurb about the novels – for instance, ‘Teach your egg a little about life’s hard truths with this educational material’, ‘Someday Everybody Will Die’, as well as ‘Eyelashes 101: Eyelashes… who knew they were so complicated! Have you ever tried to put on fake ones? Yeesh!’.

There is a camera option within the app that allows players to take a photo of their egg baby, and send it to their friends or family via Instagram or Twitter. Players may play through games with their eggs in order to earn coins. These include accelerometer games where they must balance the egg on a spoon, and tilt their device left/right or forwards and back in order to do so. There are also problem solving games where players must use deductive reasoning and the process of elimination to order objects in their rightful place based on clues.

The app does not pose any overt risks to children, but may have positive implications in regards to teaching them about the responsibility of caring for pets (the eggs), and the realistic actions that need to be taken in order to do so.

In App purchasing: There is a range of in-app purchasing options available within this app. It is possible to purchase a backyard expansion in order to obtain an additional six creature slots, allowing players to retrieve previously donated creatures from the zoo if they needed to give them away due to space limitations. This upgrade costs $2.11. Players may also ‘unlock an egg type’, thus making it ‘completely free and available for adoption’. Making this $2.23 purchase also removes all ads within the app. In addition to these options, players may elect to buy coin packages – they may obtain ‘Some Coins’ for $1.93, ‘Much Coins’ for $9.68, ‘The Motherload of Coins’ for $25.62, and ‘The Mostest Coins’ for $51.25. Each of these packages offers a different number of coins, ranging from 100,00 for the cheapest package, and 5,000,000 for the most expensive.

There are also in-app packages of Eggs that are not ordinarily unlockable. These range from the Thanksgiving Pack costing $1.99, to the Egg Super Pack costing $19.99.

It is also possible to skip the waiting period (of several hours/days/weeks) to hatch an egg by paying a financial fee – Super Ultra Insta-Hatch costs $1.10 per egg. It is also possible to purchase clothing and accessories for eggs, via things such as the ‘Halloween Pack’ – this costs $3.11. 

In App purchasing

The app contains advertisements for the in-app purchasing options. For instance, full-screen pop-ups appear stating ‘Limited Time Offer! Been dying to try out some of those locked eggs? This pack unlocks EVERY UNLOCKABLE EGG in the game at an incredibly reduced price! Wow!’.

Gambling

No gambling content was found during the review.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

No game playing behaviours which may concern parents were found during the review.

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Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

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No gambling content found in the levels played

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