Australian Council on Children and the Media

Home: Boov Pop! - Behaviour Interactive

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Short takes

Home Boov Pop! Is a match-three puzzle game. Caution: In app purchasing , advertising and gambling elements

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Contains some elements of gambling

This review of Home: Boov Pop! was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 May 2015.

About the app

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

Name of app: Home: Boov Pop!
Developed by: Behaviour Interactive
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Everyone, iTunes Store: 4+.
ACCM suggested age: 16+ due to in app purchasing , advertising and gambling elements
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 Home: Boov Pop! contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This app was reviewed up to level 10

App description

Home Boov Pop! is a match-three puzzle game based on the film of the same name, ‘Home’. The objective of the game is to work through levels by matching three or more bubbles of the same colour in order to pop them and make them disappear. Skills needed to play are mostly based around problem solving and motor skills. 

Reviewers comments

This app is based on the Dreamworks animated film of the same name. When the app is opened, players are asked for their age and presented with a message stating ‘This mobile game contains in-app purchases which cost real money that will be charged to your account. You can disable or change the ability to make in-app purchases by adjusting your device settings’. The app then asks players to sign in via a Google+ account before progressing onto actual gameplay. From here, the app takes players to a home screen with buttons that encourage them to either connect and play via Facebook, or to play as a Guest. Players are taken to a beautiful world in the sky that represents the level path which must be played through – there are numbers that represent level 1 and upwards, as well as icons showing other statistics such as a player’s total score, experience level, etc.

When beginning level 1 of gameplay, players are taken to a screen with a range of different coloured bubbles (e.g. pink and orange) and are instructed to create ‘Power Bubbles by making longer connections’. This is done by clicking and dragging a finger across the device screen where there are multiple bubbles of the same colour in one connected line. Players are also told to ‘match multiple power bubbles for a bigger chain reaction’, where they can go back and forth across multiple lines in order to connect similar coloured bubbles. After doing this, the bubbles that were touched disappear. Once a level is complete, players are presented with the number of coins they have earned, as well as an icon that states ‘Let’s Boov!’ (representing the character from the film which remains in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen at all times. They also receive the option of sharing their score and number of stars earned with friends via Facebook. If players get lots of bubbles in a connection, they can receive positive feedback such as a pop-up screen stating ‘You are a superstar!’.

As players progress through the levels, the game increases in difficulty. Players have a limited number of moves available to use in order to achieve the goals set out by each level – for instance, 9 moves can be used to connect and pop 20 blue bubbles and 20 orange bubbles. As a result, players must use strategy to ensure that they have enough moves to achieve the goals. During gameplay, there are special bubbles which, once clicked, will pop many surrounding bubbles nearby – these are shown with small swirls to indicate which ones they are to players. Within higher levels, additional features are included – for instance, players may ‘use rainbow bubbles to link different coloured bubbles’.

Players begin the game with 5 lives to use when they get stuck during a level, but this can be increased by spending 350 coins to obtain 3 additional lives, or by connecting via Facebook to ‘Ask friends for lives’. The stars that players earn at the end of levels also enable them to purchase extra things – for example, 20 stars lets players buy an extra life, 60 stars buys them 25 coins, whilst higher numbers of stars can purchase power-ups and recharge abilities which assist players during levels. The game also contains 48 possible Achievements which can be obtained – these involve things such as ‘Make your first chain reaction’, ‘Match 1000 purple tiles’, ‘Earn a lifetime total score of 1,000,000’, ‘Complete all levels of Florida area’, etc. The game additionally contains a feature known as the Wheel of Smek, which is unlocked when players earn 40 stars within their gameplay. This wheel offers players the chance to earn extra features, but appears to be reminiscent of a gambling/casino wheel.

In App purchasing

Yes: The game contains an in-app purchases store where players are able to buy in-game coins for real life currency. Gold coins can be bought in packages of 120 coins for $3.03, 220 coins for $5.87, 500 coins for $12.16, 750 coins for $17.24, 2150 coins for $23.29, and 3700 coins for $71.01.

Online information

Players have the option of sharing their scores at the end of each level with friends online via Facebook. Players are also incentivized to sign in via their Facebook account, as the app states that they will receive a 25 coin bonus in doing so.

Gambling

The Wheel of Smek appears to vaguely represent a casino-based wheel of fortune, where prizes are awarded for spinning the wheel. This does not appear to pose much of a risk to young players, however.

Advertising and product placement

The app contains considerable advertising, and full-screen pop-up ads appear during gameplay which must be manually closed. These ads contain images relating to gaming apps such as Wild (casino/gambling content), Bingo Blitz (gambling content), Candy Crush Soda Saga, etc.

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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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.