Game of Life, The - Marmalade Game Studio

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Short takes

The Game of Life is a colourful reinterpretation of the board game including mini-games, cut-scenes and online multi-player features. Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 17 (in-app purchasing, online connectivity, play resembling games of chance)

Age
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Uses Dangerous Permissions

Contains some elements of gambling

AppCensus Privacy Check

This privacy check of Game of Life, The was completed by AppCensus on 10 June 2021.

App Review

This review of Game of Life, The was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 March 2021.

About the app

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

Name of app: Game of Life, The
Developed by: Marmalade Game Studio
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Paid
Developer's suggested age: 4+
ACCM suggested age: Not suitable under 6 and parental guidance recommended to 17 due to the online connectivity and the game feature of a wheel that is spun in place of a typical set of dice, as it resembles the Big Wheels available in casinos.
Gambling content advice: Contains some elements of gambling. This game may contain devices which mimic those found in a casino; but the player is not risking something of value to play. Refer to the gambling section of this review for further details

ACCM review

This review of Game of Life, The contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

The reviewer played the game to the end ten times using a number of different combinations of play including the online options.

App description

Based on the board game, The Game of Life pits player against player to end as the richest retiree in both assets and savings. Spinning the wheel, with a simple swipe, the player moves along a board where, on each spot they land, they win an opportunity or penalty. Options to get married, go to college, have a family and choose a career are all available as well as mini-games and face-offs with opponents.

For up to four players, the game can be played against the computer or with friends who are present. It also can be played with multiple online players.

Reviewers comments

The Game of Life app requires the player to initially log in using their Facebook, Google Play, Twitter or Apple account. There are options, however, to restrict the posting of game results on Twitter and Facebook. Any in-app purchases will then be charged to the card associated with the account used to sign into the game. With multi-player online options and in-app purchasing, the game requires some initial parental supervision.

Using colourful animations and cut-scene videos, this is an enjoyable entertainment with minor educational value, dealing with planning and strategy, decision making, familiarising younger players with potential life choices and managing money.

Based on the board game, the central premise is ‘chance’ and requires the player to spin a wheel, reminiscent of the Big Wheel in casinos. This wheel replaces traditional dice from other board games and only has numbers on it unlike the Big Wheels which often have prizes displayed.

The reviewer also notes that while there is not much difference between the Apple App Store and Google Play versions, on the Android device it wanted access to photos, media and files when first logged in and when denied access it closed the app. The only other difference noted was that the game on the Android device was advertising Battleship (another game by the same developer) on the Home Screen.

In App purchasing

There is In-App purchasing in this game, examples include:

  • Theme and new map - $5.99
    • Winter Wonderland
    • Halloween
    • Birthday Party
    • Enchanted Valley Pack… and more
  • Season Pass - $30.99

On the home and start-up page there is an icon labelled ‘Special Offers’ which leads to discounted purchases, whilst the start-up page allows access to new themes and maps if an arrow icon is pushed. The in-app purchases are not available once game play has started and do not occur during the game play. They are restricted to buying different board themes such as Halloween, Summer Beach Party etc.

Online information

There is some online connectivity, such as:

  • Online multi-player games
  • Initial log in with a platform including Apple, Twitter, Facebook or Google Play.

This app can be played offline as there is a ‘Local Play’ option. It also has a multi-player online feature and can be played with friends or random international players who are not identifiable (unless they use a personal photo of themselves as their player avatar profile) and may come from anywhere in the world. Minor communication is available between the player and the online opponents and is restricted to a limited group of emojis.

Gambling

There are some gambling elements in this game, for example:

  • The wheel used in place of the dice resembles a Big Wheel or possibly a roulette wheel.
  • Mini games involving chance.
  • Resting place opportunities involving chance.

The spinner is like a Big Wheel in a Casino and some of the tasks require the player to spin the highest number to win a monetary reward. Also, there are mini-games which are like races where the player has to run around collecting the most money in order to win. A lot of the outcomes within the game play rely on chance with a spin of the wheel determining the result.

Advertising and product placement

There is advertising in this game, including:

  • Advertising Battleship (another game by the same developer) on the Home Screen, while playing the Google Store version on an Android device.

It is important for parents to be aware that on the opening page there is an icon marked ‘Specials’ that leads to a ‘sale’ page where further in-app purchases can be made consisting of bundles of themes for the game. As mentioned, on the game-play page there are also ads for game related purchases.

Gender stereotypes and sexual references

None noted.

Marriage is available for both same and different sex combinations and jobs are not gender biased.

Coarse language

None noted.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

Please see reviewer’s comments above.

Other

N/A.

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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

Privacy advice

These icons signal the use and/or transmission of your personal data. (Please note, not all apps on our website have been checked)

Transmits Sensitive Data
Uses Dangerous Permissions
No Privacy Policy
No tracking found in current check

Gambling content advice

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. These icons signal simulated gambling activity and where none was noted.

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