Australian Council on Children and the Media

Hopster TV and learning Games - Plato Media Ltd

app image

Short takes

Hopster TV is an educational TV and game based children's app. Caution: Advertising and subscriptions

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Hopster TV and learning Games was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 19 February 2016.

About the app

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

Name of app: Hopster TV and learning Games
Developed by: Plato Media Ltd
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play, Facebook
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: 3+, iTunes Store: 4+, Facebook: 13+
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Hopster TV and learning Games contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This app was viewed for approximately 1 hour

App description

Hopster TV is an educational app that allows players to watch episodes of children’s television as well as to play through educational games. The objective of the game is to enjoy television episodes that assist with learning.  It contains age-appropriate material. The educational games involve learning tasks such as drawing, identifying items, learning the alphabet, etc. The skills involved in playing this app include listening and motor skills, as well as English/spelling skills.

Reviewers comments

When the app is first installed and opened, players are presented with a home screen consisting of a large tree. The leaves of the tree each have small icons that can be clicked on, which take players to games or small videos. The app also contains an icon that says ‘Grown-ups’ – this presents a short mathematical equation that must be answered quite quickly (e.g. 5x2=___), or the option disappears and a new question is provided. If users access this area, they are told that they can ‘Delight their kids with a free Hopster trial – All the best kids TV and fun learning games at their fingertips, with no ads ever!’. The app states that there is an introductory free 7-day trial, after which the app costs $1.29/month. This can be cancelled anytime, however. The app informs users that there are new episodes every week. Many of the episodes are presented for free, however, most are locked and can only be viewed once the paid version is purchased.

The app does contain advertisements for the paid/subscription-based version of the app. This appears as a full-screen static image advertisement that must be manually closed – these ads appear when players attempt to watch one of the locked video clips. Often, there is one video clip available to watch for free, whilst others in the same series are locked.

Some of the free videos last anywhere from several minutes up to 25 minutes. They contain animated stories about adventure, friendship and other age-appropriate themes. They often express child-friendly messages about enjoying the journey, overcoming obstacles, etc. There are existing franchises that are presented also, such as the Teletubbies. The game developers claim that their ‘educational and developmental shows help kids learn their ABC’s, phonics, spelling, shapes, and more’.

The app also contains small games, such as Hopster Create – this game allows users to either draw or trace objects. If they select the Draw option, they are presented with a blank canvas and can simply use their finger to draw whatever they choose. They can then replay their drawing back, or save it as an image. Players can utilise different colours, and different styles of paintbrushes to do this. Alternatively, players can trace over pre-drawn images and colour them in.

Another game involves letter identification, where players are asked to tap the letter ‘P’ within a word such as ‘pyjamas’. They must then identify the item ‘pyjamas’ also. Additionally, they must trace the letter P after it is outlined for them. This alphabet-based game allows for repeated exposure to various letters, thus solidifying learning for younger users.

In App purchasing

Yes: The app can be used for free, but many components of it (such as TV episodes and games) are locked- These can be access by paying $1.79/month subscription.

Gambling

No gambling content was found during this review.

Advertising and product placement

The subscription-based app is advertised within the free version of the app, with a static full-screen image advertisement. These ads appear when players attempt to watch one of the locked video clips, and must be manually closed.

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.