Australian Council on Children and the Media

Hopscotch: Make Games! - Hopscotch Technologies

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Short takes

Hopscotch : Make games! is an educational app for learning to code. Caution: Online content

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Hopscotch: Make Games! was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 25 May 2016.

About the app

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

Name of app: Hopscotch: Make Games!
Developed by: Hopscotch Technologies
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: iTunes Store: 4+
ACCM suggested age: 16+ due to online content
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Hopscotch: Make Games! contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This app was reviewed for approximately 90 minutes.

App description

Hopscotch is an educational app based around learning coding. The objective is to work through guided tutorials and code basic games. The skills required are logic, motor skills, and critical thinking.

Reviewers comments

When the app is first opened, players are shown a colourful screen and are prompted to sign up to the service. Players are prompted to create a username and password, and then enter an email address. “If you are under 13, add your parent’s email” is shown directly below the input email box.

Once the account is created, players are taken to a screen and asked “What do you want to do first?” Directly below this, are two options. “Make stuff” and “Play stuff”. Within the “Play Stuff” menu, players can see a constantly updated list of games created by other users. This list contains basic user developed programs, displayed as large tiles. When the player taps one of these tiles, the game is loaded and can be played. There is also a search button, and players can locate specific titles, or anything currently trending within the app. Many of these games appear to be difficult to operate.

Within the “Make Stuff” menu, players can create new apps. There are several guided tutorials, and when these are clicked, players are shown a video in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, with instructions on how to create the various different basic styles of game. Players can follow along with the videos to create drawing apps, apps that utilise basic gyroscopic controls, and a range of touch-screen enabled apps. These tutorials range in difficulty from zero to three stars, and the more complex tutorials have significantly longer videos

There appears to be a risk within this app based around the ability to publish content online. Players can publish content, and it is not moderated. Additionally, content can be simultaneously published to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This means that any content that is created can be shared to, and received from, a large audience with no moderation.

In App purchasing

None

Online information

The player’s online information can be seen and viewed in the online component of the app. Other players can play any app that the user uploads and publishes to the servers.

Gambling

No simulated gambling content was found during this review.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

No game playing behaviour that may concern 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.