Australian Council on Children and the Media

Nemo's Reef - Disney

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Short takes

Nemo's Reef is a quest and timer building game.Caution: in-app purchasing, online interactivity, advertising

Age
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15

No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Nemo's Reef was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 17 August 2015.

About the app

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

Name of app: Nemo's Reef
Developed by: Disney
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: General, Online Interactivity, iTunes Store: 4+
ACCM suggested age: 7+ with supervision; 13+ due to in-app purchasing, online interactivity, advertising
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Nemo's Reef contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

this app was reviewed to level 8.

App description

Nemo’s Reef is a timer-and-quest building app based around the Disney film ‘Finding Nemo’. The objective of the game is to use resources and in-game currency to build an extensive reef – players must select items to place (such as rocks and coral), wait periods of time for these to process, and continually expand on their creation. The skills required mostly involve basic motor skills to use the app.

Reviewers comments

When the app is opened, players are asked to input a Profile Name, as well as their age. After this, there is a short animation of two fish (one of whom appears to be Nemo) swimming under the ocean. They approach a larger fish, and dialogue appears on the screen where Nemo states “Hey dad, guess what we learned about in school today?! Reef building!” He goes on to describe that he and his dad are going to build ‘the coolest reef in the class’. Players are then taken to a top-down view of the ocean bed, and multiple options are displayed around the screen. The player’s level is shown in the top left-hand corner, the amount of health they have is shown in the top right corner, and resources are shown along the top. When players click on any of the three resources (sand dollars, algae or pearls), they are taken to the in-app purchases store where they can buy more of each resource.

Players are then told that algae and sunlight are the secret to growing reefs, as algae and coral work together. Players must then tap on sections where algae appears to be present in order to collect it for the project – there is a brief waiting time before it is processed, and the algae may be tapped on and collected. Players are then directed towards the Nursery within the menu, in order to select the correct plants to grow in the reef. Different items within the Nursery cost different numbers of sand dollars to purchase, and they take different lengths of time to be placed. Players must select an item and place it exactly where they wish for it to go. After it is placed, players receive a reward of sand coins in return. In order to make the plant grow, algae needs to be used on it. There is a processing time that varies for each item, but this can be skipped and items can be processed instantaneously by utilising pearls (e.g. 1 pearl for a short period of time, but more pearls for longer processing periods).

Within the Nursery, there are different categories of items that can be placed. These include: Living, Coral, Ornamental, Rare and Specials. Throughout the process of building and adding to the reef, the game provides some informative facts to players that further the storyline (e.g. ‘Nemo has learned that an Ornamental Plant next to a Living Plant makes the home more attractive to fish’). The game goes on to encourage players to create ‘rocks and protective nooks’ for fish to hide in if they desire. Items that are placed continue to produce resources for players, and can be tapped on after a set period where they replenish themselves and can produce more sand coins, algae, etc. As players create more of their reef, they gain experience and thus level-up and unlock additional items.

The timer-and-quest nature of the app does appear to encourage players to make in-app purchases in order to skip waiting periods, which may be inappropriate for young users without supervision.

In App purchasing

Within the in-app purchases store, players are able to buy packages of items to use within the game. They can buy sand dollars in packages ranging from 800 sand dollars for $1.30, up to 40,000 sand dollars for $65.35. These allow players to purchase items for their reef. Players can also purchase algae in packages ranging from 200 algae for $1.29, up to 15,000 algae for $65.35. These enable players to upgrade items they have placed within their reef. Pearls can also be bought in packages ranging from 85 pearls for $2.60, up to 3,000 pearls for $65.37. These allow players to speed up/skip the processing time for each item that is placed.

Online information

Players are able to connect via Facebook. They can also play with friends, by inviting people to play with them through Facebook/email, or by adding a specific known username. From level 12, a co-operative quest feature is unlocked where players can invite their friends to join missions and complete building quests together.

Gambling

No gambling content was found during this review.

Advertising and product placement

Pearls can not only be bought in the in-app purchases store, but they can be obtained for free by engaging in other game-related activities. For example, they can obtain pearls by watching video advertisements for other games (such as ‘Walking Dead: Road to Survival), by installing and playing apps to a certain level (e.g. ‘Download Westbound: Gold Rush and Complete Level 2), by visiting websites (e.g . Visit the Coles website), or by purchasing other products (e.g. ‘Receive 243 pearls, Get the skin cream celebs are raving about!’).

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.