Australian Council on Children and the Media

Stack - Ketchapp

app image

Short takes

Stack is a reflex-based gaming app.

Age
4
5
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7
8
9
10
11
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15

No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Stack was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 April 2016.

About the app

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

Name of app: Stack
Developed by: Ketchapp
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play, Facebook
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: General; iTunes Store: 4+; Facebook 13+
ACCM suggested age: 8+ for in-app purchases.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Stack contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This app was reviewed for approximately 1 hour.

App description

Stack is a reflex-based gaming app. The central objective is to tap the screen at the right moment to ensure that each individual layer that passes over the stack attaches correctly, and increases the height of the stack. The skills involved in playing this app include motor skills and good timing.

Reviewers comments

When the app is first installed, players are asked to sign in via a Google Play account. Once this is done, a pop-up advertisement appears for an additional gaming app made by the same developer (‘Twist’ by Ketchapp). The ad is a full-screen static ad which must be manually closed. After this, players are taken to the home page of Stack – there is a large Play icon in the centre, as well as other options listed along the bottom of the screen. These include unlockable visual designs, a link to the Google Play Store page for the app itself, an option to turn the volume on or off, as well as a leaderboard of scores for individuals and the people in their Google Circle. Players are given the option of inviting friends, to ‘Tell others about this game and compare scores when they play’.

Upon clicking the Play button, players are taken to a blue screen where flat square blocks begin floating in diagonally from the top left and right corners. There is a central tower in the middle, and as each flat block floats over the top of the tower, players must tap on it at the correct time – if players are able to tap at the exact moment where the floating block overlays the tower, it will attach itself to the top. If part of the floating block bypasses the tower in any way, the portions of overhanging blocks will be cut off and the surface of the tower becomes smaller. New floating blocks continue to slide in at the same pace, and the goal is to ensure that the tower stays as large as possible. If a floating block slides completely over the tower without players tapping on it to secure it, the level is over and players must start again. On the screen which appears when players run out of blocks (signalling that they must restart from the beginning), they are given the option to like the game via Facebook, make an in-app purchase to remove all advertisements (costing $2.63), to share their score via social media, or to view the leaderboard tables.

When players do well they receive in-game ‘diamonds’. They are also frequently given the opportunity to automatically receive 20 gold diamonds by watching a video advertisement. These are full-screen ads that cannot be closed until they have played to completion and include games such as Naughty Monster Store. These gold diamonds are used to unlock different visual designs (e.g. instead of a plain stack, a Maze can be unlocked with 200 diamonds).

The app contains banner advertisements between levels that are situated along the bottom of the screen. These cannot be removed without making an in-app payment, and provide advertisements for things such as websites (e.g. Rolypolykids.com, Accenture.com), etc.

In App purchasing

Players are able to make an in-app purchase to remove all advertisements (costing $2.63).

Online information

In order to play the game, players must sign in via a Google Play account. Additionally, there is a leader board of scores for individuals and the people in their Google Circle. Players are also given the option of inviting friends and to ‘Tell others about this game and compare scores when they play’. Furthermore, players can share their high scores with others via Facebook.

Gambling

No gambling content found during this review.

Advertising and product placement

The app contains pop-up advertisements for additional gaming apps made by the same developer (e.g. ‘Twist’ by Ketchapp). These ads are full-screen static ad which must be manually closed. Players are also frequently given the opportunity to automatically receive 20 gold diamonds by watching a video advertisement. These are full-screen ads that cannot be closed until they have played to completion and include games such as Naughty Monster Store.

The app also contains banner advertisements between levels that are situated along the bottom of the screen. These cannot be removed without making an in-app payment and provide advertisements for things such as websites (e.g. Rolypolykids.com, Accenture.com), etc. 

Coarse language

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.