Australian Council on Children and the Media

Wild Things: animal adventure - Jam City, Inc.

app image

Short takes

This app is a “match-three” game similar to Candy Crush. Players will benefit from strategic planning and good memory. Not suitable for children 12 and under, parental guidance 13 – 17 due to social media connectivity and “risk for reward” themes.

Age
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8
9
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15

No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Wild Things: animal adventure was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 June 2018.

About the app

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

Name of app: Wild Things: animal adventure
Developed by: Jam City, Inc.
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 4+
ACCM suggested age: PG 13 – 15 for social media connectivity and risk for reward themes.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Wild Things: animal adventure contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

The reviewer played to Level 36.

App description

Wild Things: Animal Adventure builds on popular match-three games by adding a story line element. Players start with a random grid of symbols and need to swipe up, down, left or right in order to make three in a row. This makes the symbols disappear with the surrounding symbols dropping down around it to fill in the grid gaps. Furthermore, there’s usually an object behind each symbol which clears when a match occurs in front of it. For example, level 36 clears bamboo behind each symbol as it’s matched. These bamboo squares then go to feed the hungry panda sitting on top of screen. If panda gets enough bamboo squares – the player completes the level. Each level in this game is similar in this way – the point is to help the animals at each level. Also, when levels are completed, the player is rewarded with a leaf. Leaves can be used to clean up the animal’s park and add features that benefit the animals.

Reviewers comments

It’s likely that younger children would be attracted to this game. Not only are the cartoon animals cute, but there’s also attractive and gentle sounds that go along with it. Also, if levels are not completed, the animals often cry and look very sad.

There are also many other elements in this game that would encourage players to either spend real money or to connect with Facebook. The first one is the time lock out. This is a common feature of games of this type where if a player runs out of lives, they must wait for about 18 mins before their lives replenish until they can play again. Alternatively, you can use 125 coins to get an instant refill of lives (which, unless you’ve earned coins over time, you must pay for with real money). The game also has a win streak feature, so if you don’t buy another 5 moves to try and beat a level, you lose your winning streak and thus the benefits that come along with that. If players are coming to the end of their allowed moves and they are close to completing the level, they can use one of their limited boosts (e.g.; a target that removes a particular square). However, there is no guarantee that using a boost will result in completing the level – and once the boosts are used up, you need to use real money to purchase more. Thus, this represents a risk for reward situation that many parents will have issues with.

There’s also a piggy bank feature. As levels are completed, virtual coins go into the piggy bank. The only way to empty the piggy bank is to pay $4.49. The problem here is that at some stage, the piggy bank gets full and hence all coins won per level are shown dropping on the piggy bank and fall away to be lost.

Lastly, if you don’t complete a level, the game will indicate that you can ask your Facebook friends for more coins – which is achieved simply by pressing a button in-game.

In App purchasing

Coins:

25 = $1.49

135 = $7.99

275 = $14.99

575 = $30.99

1475 = $79.99

2400 = $124.99

3125 = $159.99

Adventure Chest (25 Coins and 3 Boosts) = $2.99

Photography Pack (135 Coins and 9 Boosts) = $10.99

Exploration Bundle (275 Coins and 18 Boosts) = $21.99

Top Shot Pack (575 Coins and 30 Boosts) = $39.99

Travel Riches (1475 Coins and 60 Boosts) = $89.99

Trinkets Trove (2400 Coins and 75 Boosts) = $159.99

Jade’s Stash (3125 Coins and 90 Boosts) = $119.99

Online information

Connectivity with social media

Gambling

As indicated above, there are many elements in this game that would make it difficult for some not to spend real money. As boosts can be purchased with real money, and there’s no guarantee that using a boost will result in completing a level, using boosts is a risk for reward situation that is similar in nature to real gambling.

Advertising and product placement

None noted.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

None noted.

Coarse language

None noted.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

See reviewer’s comments.

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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.