Australian Council on Children and the Media

My Very Hungry Caterpillar - StoryToys

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Short takes

My Very Hungry Caterpillar is an exploration/activity game. Caution:in-app purchasing, advertising

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of My Very Hungry Caterpillar was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 December 2015.

About the app

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

Name of app: My Very Hungry Caterpillar
Developed by: StoryToys
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: General; iTunes: 4+.
ACCM suggested age: 4+ with supervision; 13+ due to in-app purchasing, advertising
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of My Very Hungry Caterpillar contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This app was reviewed for approximately 1 hour

App description

My Very Hungry Caterpillar is a children’s gaming app based on the storybooks of the same title. The objective of the app is to work through a collection of tasks/mini-games, where players must utilise the Hungry Caterpillar character to complete activities (e.g. drawing, watering plants, etc). The skills required to use the app are predominantly motor skills, identification and creativity.

Reviewers comments

When the app is opened, players are taken to a white screen with a small egg in the centre - it is shaking slightly from side to side. Players are encouraged to tap on the egg with a small arrow icon. A single tap cracks the egg very slightly, and players must tap it several times in order to break the egg. After they do this, the Hungry Caterpillar is released. The camera then pans out and displays the caterpillar amongst a snowy environment, where he is positioned between two trees. One tree has three apples hanging from the branches. Players must tap on the apple images in order to drop them - the caterpillar will then eat through the three apples.

There are two icons in the top right hand corner of the screen. One allows players to browse other apps produced by the same developer StoryToys (these include games such as 'Power Rangers: Dino Charge Rumble', 'Clangers', 'Haunted House', etc). These are merely static image advertisements that transport players to the Google Play Store once they are clicked. Some of these games, such as 'Haunted House', are purchasable for a price of $2.49. They can also purchase books by StoryToys, such as 'Goodnight Mo Bedtime Book' for $3.29.

The other icon displays information about the paid version of the app, which can be unlocked for $4.99. This app unlocks more activities and allows players to 'paint pictures with their caterpillar, play a musical sorting game, sail across a pond, and have fun with a robot, ball, bubble-maker, wind-up ladybug and swing'. The paid app is also advertised within the game - for instance, players can explore the world and discover components of the game that are locked to individuals with only the free version. This is seen when players locate a cart selling balloons, and upon clicking it, are told that they can 'Send their caterpillar up, up and away with all the balloons you want' by purchasing the full app for $4.99.

Players can explore the surrounding areas where the Hungry Caterpillar resides. There are different activities to engage in - for example, players can pick up small beans by tapping and holding the screen, and proceed to place them into gardening pots. From here, they can tap on a watering can and use it to make their beans grow into plants.

There is also a painting/drawing activity, where players encounter a large empty white canvas on the ground with a single pool of green paint. Players can then tap on the green paint with their finger, and tap elsewhere on the canvas to paint small fingerprints. They can also direct their caterpillar to walk through the green paint, and then direct him anywhere else on the canvas - this proceeds to draw long green lines.

In App purchasing

There is a small icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen that displays information about the paid version of the app, which can be unlocked for $4.99. This app allows players to 'paint pictures with their caterpillar, play a musical sorting game, sail across a pond, and have fun with a robot, ball, bubble-maker, wind-up ladybug and swing'. The paid app is also advertised within the game - for instance, players can explore the world and discover components of the game that are locked to individuals with only the free version. This is seen when players locate a cart selling balloons, and upon clicking it, are told that they can 'Send their caterpillar up, up and away with all the balloons you want' by purchasing the full app for $4.99.

Gambling

No gambling content was found during this review.

Advertising and product placement

Players can browse other apps produced by the same developer StoryToys (these include games such as 'Power Rangers: Dino Charge Rumble', 'Clangers', 'Haunted House', etc). These are merely static image advertisements that transport players to the Google Play Store once they are clicked. Some of these games, such as 'Haunted House', are purchasable for a price of $2.49. They can also purchase books by StoryToys, such as 'Goodnight Mo Bedtime Book' for $3.29. Furthermore, the paid version of the app is advertised within the game.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

No game playing behaviour which may be of concern to parents was discovered 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.