Australian Council on Children and the Media

Soul Hunters - Lilith Mobile

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Short takes

Soul Hunters is an RPG gaming app based around card battles. Caution: in-app purchases, online interactivity, mild animated violence

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Soul Hunters was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 31 May 2016.

About the app

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

Name of app: Soul Hunters
Developed by: Lilith Mobile
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: General, Very Mild Themes; Apple iTunes Store: 9 for Mild Cartoon/Fantasy Violence+
ACCM suggested age: 13+ due to in-app purchases, online interactivity, mild animated violence
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Soul Hunters contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This app was reviewed for approximately 1 hour.

App description

Soul Hunters is a RPG app based around battles. The objective is to obtain a team of highly skilled "heroes' which take the form of cards, and to then utilise and upgrade these heroes by engaging in battles with opponents. The skills required include motor skills and problem solving skills.

Reviewers comments

When the app is first installed and opened, players are taken to a screen informing them that they must sign in via Facebook, Google+, or as a Guest in order to progress to gameplay. The app then displays that it is installing 141MB of content. From here, players are taken to a home page where they can ‘Choose a server’. Players are then presented with a list of various named servers they may connect to (e.g. 130 Thunderous Axe, 126 Elven Archer). There is a Play icon in the centre of the screen that takes players to the gameplay portion of the app.

From here, players are thrown into an animated battle sequence – they are shown two parties approaching each other from opposing sides with weapons drawn. A male character named Elric speaks and his dialogue is written on the screen: ‘What do these heroes want from us?’. Another creature-like character states ‘Kill them all!’. Players then witness the animated battle, where characters use their weapons to attack each other – the health of each character is shown to reduce numerically (numbers are above a character’s head), and sparks are shown when a character is injured. They eventually disappear when they are killed. Within this battle, players are told to click on one of their character’s icons along the bottom of the screen in order to ‘Use your Ultimate’. Doing this causes one of the heroes to utilise a special attack that does increased damage to the opposing team. After the battle is completed, players receive the card of a new hero – these cards contain an image of the hero, their name, category, and strength (represented in number of stars).

After this initial sequence, players are taken to the main home page where there are various options to explore. Players can enter the Summoner Circle, where they are able to recruit more heroes. This is achieved by opening Gold Chests (done via spending in-game gold coins) or Diamond Chests (done via spending the in-game resource of diamonds). Although players can do this once for free, they are unable to do this again unless they obtain more gold or diamonds. Diamonds function as an in-app purchase within the game, and can be bought with real-life currency. These can be purchased in packages of 80 diamonds for $0.99, 400 for $4.99, 800 for $9.99, 1600 for $19.99, 4000 for $49.99, or 8000 for $99.99. It is also possible to buy a monthly subscription, where you receive 400 diamonds each month for $2.99. Diamonds are additionally used to purchase stamina points, which enable players to battle – 120 stamina points cost 50 diamonds. The app further encourages players to make purchases by incorporating ‘VIP Levels’. Players must ‘Purchase 10 diamonds to be upgraded to this VIP level and immediately receive the following benefits: 20 sweet tickets per day, purchase stamina 3 times per day,’ etc.

The main screen also contains a link to a Mailbox, where players can receive inbox updates and messages from the app. There are numerous areas which are level locked (between levels 11-90, depending on the area) – it is not possible to know what these areas include until a player reaches the designated level. However, players of every level are able to enter the Campaign area which begins the first chapter of gameplay (within chapter 1, there are 6 areas to complete). When players select one of these, they are presented with a brief overview of a mission: ‘After a surprise attack from an unknown enemy, you wake up in a dark and forbidding forest. With members of your party missing, you attempt to regroup and set out to find help, only to come under attack once again’. They are also shown images of their enemies, valuable items that may be dropped during the battle, as well as the number of stamina points the mission costs to complete (e.g. 6 stamina points). Players can then choose their own heroes and build their team with the cards they have access to.

Gameplay involves viewing battle sequences take place, and tapping on the individual hero icons along the bottom of the screen when one of the heroes is capable of performing a special attack (their icon flashes when this is possible). This appears to be the only interactive involvement players have within the battles themselves. There are chests that drop during the battles at times, and players must tap on these in order to collect additional items. After the mission is completed, players are shown a screen displaying the experience points and amount of gold they obtained as a result. Any items that were collected can also be equipped, thus making their heroes more powerful.

There are 50 heroes to collect within the game, and users can play through a range of quests (e.g. Reach party Level 10, Bind with your Facebook Account, Complete Stage Chapter 1) in order to obtain more rewards.

Although Google Play does not appear to list Online Interactivity on the app’s webpage, the app’s website states that it is possible to participate in arena battles, and to engage in player-versus-player battles with users from other guilds. In these instances, problem-solving abilities are important, as individuals must strive to create an optimal team of heroes when considering their opponent’s team. This area of the game was not included within this review.

In App purchasing

Diamonds function as an in-app purchase within the game, and can be bought for real-life currency. These can be bought in packages of 80 diamonds for $0.99, 400 for $4.99, 800 for $9.99, 1600 for $19.99, 4000 for $49.99, or 8000 for $99.99. It is also possible to buy a monthly subscription, where you receive 400 diamonds each month for $2.99. Diamonds are also used to purchase stamina points, which enable players to battle – 120 stamina points cost 50 diamonds. The app further encourages players to make purchases by incorporating ‘VIP Levels’. Players must ‘Purchase 10 diamonds to be upgraded to this VIP level and immediately receive the following benefits: 20 sweet tickets per day, purchase stamina 3 times per day,’ etc.

Online information

Players are able to sign in via Facebook or Google Plus, and are encouraged to connect the app with their Facebook account via in-game rewards (e.g. 150 diamonds being provided upon joining).

Although Google Play does not appear to list Online Interactivity on the app’s webpage, the app’s website states that it is possible to participate in arena battles, and to engage in player-versus-player battles with users from other guilds. In these instances, problem-solving abilities are important as individuals must strive to create an optimal team of heroes when considering their opponent’s team. This area of the game was not included within this review.

Gambling

No gambling content was found during this review.

Advertising and product placement

Although no visual advertisements were present, the game includes video-game characters from other franchises (such as Ezio from The Assassin’s Creed games).

Gender stereo types and sexual references

The heroes presented on some of the cards are quite sexualised. For instance, Gale the female mystic runner is presented as wearing very little clothing – she has her midriff and thighs exposed. The armour she is wearing accentuates her breasts. The male heroes are conversely presented as large, masculine, well-armoured characters.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

This app contains extensive in-app purchasing, online interactivity, animated violence, and sexualised presentation of female characters.

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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.