Australian Council on Children and the Media

PAC-MAN Friends - Bandai Namco Games

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Short takes

PAC-MAN Friends is a fast-paced tilt based puzzle game.Caution: in-app purchasing, online interactivity, advertising

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15

No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of PAC-MAN Friends was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 October 2014.

About the app

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

Name of app: PAC-MAN Friends
Developed by: Bandai Namco Games
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Everyone; Apple iTunes Store: 4+
ACCM suggested age: 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 PAC-MAN Friends contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

this app was played to level 15.

App description

PAC-MAN Friends is a fast-paced tilt based puzzle game involving characters from the PAC-MAN franchise. The objective of the game is for players to collect points and rewards, as they move their characters through various maze puzzles. The skills required to play this app are dynamic visual acuity, and fine motor skills.

Reviewers comments

Once the app is opened, players are informed that they must choose a Google Play email account (or create a new account) in order to play the app. The game cannot be played without signing in. Players are then taken to a menu screen that contains a Play option, as well as an option to view other advertisements associated with external apps and other games.

Once players click to start the gameplay, they can enter a settings menu that enables them to change the language of the app and how the device notifications work, as well as an option to Restore Purchases. The app also contains a store where in-app purchases can be made – these include purchases such as 3+ cherries for $1.06, 10+ cherries for $5.21, a full 15 lives for $5.36, the option to slow time 3+ for $1.06, the option to slow time 10+ for $5.21, and the option to slow time 10+ in addition to obtaining 10+ cherries for $$5.35.

The central screen of the gameplay is a large map depicting the various levels that a player is able to complete. Only the levels that have been played, and the single next level afterwards, may be open to players at any time – the rest are level-locked.

When players begin, they are given instructions on how to play the game – ‘Tilt your device and pick up every pellet’. Players can then select which controls they wish to have for their device – they may choose how much their device will be tilted during play, or whether they wish to only tap the screen instead of tilting it in order to engage in gameplay. Players must then guide their pacman through numerous mazes where they tilt up, down, left and right in order to collect items and complete the level. In later levels, players must pick up friends within the maze and move with them. They must also avoid obstacles or other creatures that kill them and cause them to require and use a cherry to save it. Players may avoid ghosts, or eat them by eating power pellets first that enable them to attack the ghosts. The mazes change and become more complex as the levels progress. After completion, players are given a ‘Level _ Completed!’ screen that displays the time it took them in seconds to finish, as well as a rating out of three stars in regards to how well they performed.

In App purchasing

The app contains a store where in-app purchases can be made – these include purchases such as 3+ cherries for $1.06, 10+ cherries for $5.21, a full 15 lives for $5.36, the option to slow time 3+ for $1.06, the option to slow time 10+ for $5.21, and the option to slow time 10+ in addition to obtaining 10+ cherries for $$5.35.

Online information

Players must sign in via a Google Play email account in order to play the app, or they may create one. There is also the option to sign in via Facebook and connect with friends to share scores.

Gambling

No gambling content found withing the game during the review, however ads for other apps containing gambling content appear frequently.

Advertising and product placement

The app contains full-screen pop-up advertisements for external apps. For instance, games such as CoinDozer and Slots are advertised and must be manually closed after it appears. After the individual advertisement is closed, players still are required to manually close another list of advertised apps which encourages players to browse through ‘More Apps!’. Ads also appear at the end of each level completion during gameplay itself.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

No game playing behaviour that may be of concern to parents was found during play.

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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.