Australian Council on Children and the Media

Westbound: Gold Rush - Rockyou Inc

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Short takes

Westbound: Gold Rush is a quest and timer game. Caution: in-app purchases, online interactivity.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Westbound: Gold Rush was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 25 August 2015.

About the app

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

Name of app: Westbound: Gold Rush
Developed by: Rockyou Inc
Platform reviewed: Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: none
ACCM suggested age: 16+ in-app purchases and online interactivity
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Westbound: Gold Rush contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

this review focuses on levels: 1-10

App description

Westbound is a timer and quest app based around the storyline of gold-digging in a mining town. The objective of the game is to complete quests and missions to earn more money, thus unlocking more buildings and features to use. There are limited skills needed but an understanding of strategy and problem solving may be useful.

Reviewers comments

When the app is opened, players are taken to a start menu – it encourages players to ‘Explore the abandoned mines, unearth desperado treasures and find a booming town’. Upon clicking Start, players are met by a male character, Carson, who asks to be lent a hand as his leg has become stuck under a wheel. Players are then taken to a top-down timer-and-quest style view of an area and must tap on Carson’s character icon in order to release him. As a result, players are able to gain silver coins as a reward. Players are then able to chat briefly with Carson, who states that he has come to the valley with ‘gold fever’.

The game then directs players to tap on the nearby Valley Walls in order to explore them – this causes Carson to begin visibly digging in the valley and players are asked to wait several seconds for this to happen. A young woman named Ruby Maeis is found amidst the valley rubble. Players attempt to help her by giving her some food to eat – this is done by tapping on an area of crops to harvest them. Players again receive a reward of silver coins and a gold star, which furthers their experience level. Ruby is looking for her niece and although players state that they will help her in her journey, it is suggested that the group set up camp first. To do this, players must tap on a Wagon Tent icon and wait for the build to process.

As the game progresses, players have the option of choosing a number of builds/features from the Catalogue store within the game to make their valley more functional. These include items from categories such as Houses, Buildings, Crops, Resources, Décor and Helpers. Each of these items cost silver coins to purchase and assistm in giving players experience and more in-game coins/resources. Players are able to use purple tonics in order to speed up the processing time of builds, in a timer-and-quest style manner.

The game also contains missions, such as ‘Explore the valley to find Ruby’s niece’, ‘Free the stranger’, etc which help players gain additional rewards upon completion. Players are also able to gradually go up a level within the game and thus unlock more items to use within their valley.

In App purchasing

Within the app, there is an in-app purchases store where real-life currency can be used to make in-game purchases. These includes purple tonics (which can assist players in skipping and/or speeding up waiting periods) in packages of 1200 for $1.09, 3960 for $3.29, 7200 for $5.49, 15600 for $10.99, 36000 for $21.99 or 120000 for $54.99. Players are also able to buy gold bars in similarly priced packages, however the price extends to 1600 gold bars for $109.99. Resources such as silver can also be purchased, as well as pickaxes and energy, which are used to further progress within the game.

Online information

At level 6, players unlock Team Challenges where they are encouraged to join the RockYou community to play with others online. The app also contains a section which states that a log-in via Facebook will be coming soon. Players are further told that they can gain extra rewards (e.g. gold bars) if they sign in via a Google+ account.

Advertising and product placement

Players are able to ‘earn free tonics!’ by watching advertisements for other apps, as well as downloading and playing through other apps. Some of these include downloading and completing Brightwood Adventures and completing level two (earns 1020 tonics), download and run Clash of Lords 2 (for 365 tonics), download and run World Tour Casino (for 173 tonics, contains gambling content), etc.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

The extensive in-app purchasing and time-lag features may encourage the spending of real-life money.

 

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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.