Australian Council on Children and the Media

Pirates of the Caribbean - Disney

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Short takes

Pirates of the Caribbean is an exploration and adventure game where players may roam the sea in order to find islands, complete quests and battle other ships.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Pirates of the Caribbean was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 June 2014.

About the app

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

Name of app: Pirates of the Caribbean
Developed by: Disney
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play, Facebook
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Everyone, iTunes Store: 12+, Facebook: 13+
ACCM suggested age: 13+ due to mild animated violence, references to substance use and in-app purchasing (appropriate with supervision or discussion)
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Pirates of the Caribbean contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This review focuses on levels: 1-10.

App description

Pirates of the Caribbean is an app which allows players to build a ship with decent defence and a good crew, sail the seas to complete quests and master islands, as well as collect loot and gems. The objective is to master all of the 21 available islands, as well as collect as much loot and experience as possible. The skills required to play are spatial/visual and motor skills, predominantly in relation to the ship battles players may complete.

Reviewers comments

When the app opens, players begin by entering their ‘Pirate Name’, which they manually type. They are then given the option to choose from a selected range of pirate flags. After this, Captain Jack Sparrow appears in the corner of the screen to welcome the player. He explains that ‘gold is a pirate’s lifeblood’, and that players ‘must make course for the Sunken Island in order to find some’.

The app involves playing through various quests – these include things such as ‘Mastery Progress: Lure away the ghostly crew by telling them the Flying Dutchman has docked nearby. Then loot the ship’s holds and run like hell,’ as well as  ‘The Ghosts discover your lie and vow grisly revenge. Escape to a nearby Chapel.’ Each quest costs players some energy, but earns them monetary rewards. The quests complete themselves, and players are merely required to start them in order to earn money and also level up. Each time a quest is completed, players will receive information on what level they are, how much gold they have, how many gems they’ve obtained, and what bonuses they earned. Each time a player levels up, they obtain skill points that can improve their standing within the game.

Players are told that there are 21 islands that may be mastered. When a player masters all the quests on an island, they become Master of the Island. When they master all of the islands, they become the Master of the Seas. Players may use their finger to swipe across the map to survey the islands, although many of the islands are level-locked and may only be explored once a player reaches a certain level within the game. Players also ‘hire a crew’, allowing them to put more of their weapons and armour to use thereby making them a more powerful opponent.

At the top of the screen, players have stats on their energy levels, stamina, health, gems, and amounts of gold and experience. It is possible for players to use their in-game gold to purchase items that will improve the ship’s defence and attack (e.g. ship canons). When out at sea, players may click on nearby ships to see it’s attack/defence stats and determine if they wish to battle it. Players may test their skills during a battle, or set the app to ‘Auto-Battle’ and run by itself. When battling manually, players must use their reflexes to change their sailing speed in order to avoid enemy fire, and also blast their own canons at the right moment. It costs either gold or gems to repair a ship after a battle.

Earning Gems will allow players to not only purchase certain items, but also to refill their energy, stamina and health, as well as repair their ship.

The app has a full-screen pop-up window that suggests players connect via Facebook, so that they may battle their friends and add them to the crew. The app offers in-app purchasing options in relation to gems. Players may purchase as few as 22 gems for the price of $1.99, 115 gems for $9.99, 580 gems for $49.99, or 1200 gems for $99.99. It is possible to earn gems for free by watching advertisements for other apps and games, by downloading and installing various games (which will earn players more gems than merely watching advertisements), or playing other games to a specified level.

The app does not pose any overt risks to children, but parents should be aware of the potentially expensive in-app purchases that the app makes available. It may also be important to discuss the nature of the animated violence with younger players, in addition to the references to alcohol that appear.

In App purchasing

Yes: The app offers in-app purchasing options in relation to gems. Players may purchase as few as 22 gems for the price of $1.99, 115 gems for $9.99, 580 gems for $49.99, or 1200 gems for $99.99.

Online information

The app has a full-screen pop-up which suggests that players connect via Facebook, so that they may battle their friends and add them to the crew. 

Gambling

No gambling content found during the review.

Advertising and product placement

It is possible to earn gems by watching advertisements for other apps and games, by downloading and installing various games (which will earn players more gems than merely watching advertisements), or playing other games to a specified level.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

No game playing behaviour that may 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.