Animal Jam - Play Wild!

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Animal Jam - Play Wild! App Poster Image
Virtual world shallowly focuses on toys, chats with others.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

There are a lot of app features and interactions, and not all are intuitive; kids only get a basic tutorial.

Violence

There are a few mildly violent scenes -- a nefarious spider king gets blown up, for example, when defeated, but there isn't blood or significant gore.

 

Sex
Language
Consumerism

The app is free to download, but kids will frequently be offered in-app purchases involving sapphires, which is one of the two types of currency used in the virtual world. Offers range from $1.99-$9.99, including a recurring $6.99-a-month membership -- and they'll run across things to buy with virtual currency frequently.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Animal Jam -- Play Wild! is a virtual world for kids that's available on iOS and Android devices. Kids won't see ads in the virtual world, but may feel pressured to make an in-app sapphire purchase to buy things to use while playing. Families can disable friend, game, or pack invite features but will need to alter kids' account settings, and kids may be able to change them back fairly easily. There are some mildly violent scenes, but there's no blood or gore shown. Though this is a mostly safe place for kids, the terms of service are very clear about profanity, bullying, and other abuse, the chat is moderated, and a language filter is in place, the administrators acknowledge in the app’s FAQ section that offensive items could still appear in chats or other communication, and it's unclear if private messages are moderated. Scamming can also be an issue in trades; the app offers advice to prevent it, but parents may want to use the online interaction as an opportunity to talk about digital citizenship. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information (and kids' information) is collected, used, and shared and any choice you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byFred stone May 30, 2016
My daughter loves animals. She has been subjected to foul language and theft of items. Beware.
Adult Written bySandy D. December 16, 2017

Great, but...

I have been letting my children, both 10 and 12 play Animal Jam Play Wild for ever since they've gotten their first device. Usually at around 10. Other par... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 6, 2016

Easy

It is too easy because they can buy animals and can choose colors and can look like real animals and they love. Also they want more money from twice old Animal... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old November 19, 2017

The best app!

After finding out about animaljam.com from my friend, and getting annoyed with being a nonmember (not having a paid membership), I came across this gem in the A... Continue reading

What's it about?

ANIMAL JAM -- PLAY WILD! is a virtual world where kids can customize an animal character, play games alone or with other players, and attend parties. They can collect and trade items, chat, and send befriended players messages. Kids can also join pack groups with other players and get access to a special chat window. Games, treasure hunts, and recycling items earns gems to buy accessories and den items with; kids can purchase sapphires to buy new avatars, pets, and other items with real money or may earn some by spending time on the app.

Is it any good?

While the graphics and animations are great, the main focus on collecting toys feels limited, and the app's social interactions are a bit more iffy. Although chats in Animal Jam -- Play Wild! are moderated, the site acknowledges that problematic comments could be shared, and players don't always say much -- or much of value, anyway -- when chatting; many of the comments involve requests to trade various things. Kids can also send private notes to people who accept their friend request; it's not clear if that communication is moderated.  

With a number of games, challenges, and other activities, there's no doubt most kids could spend many happy hours playing in the virtual world. Parents, though, may question whether it's time well spent. In some ways, the app seems to function as a virtual version of collecting toys. Ultimately, there are better alternatives to the mini-games and social spaces it offers, and better (physical) alternatives to its collecting features. If there were a greater focus on educating kids about animals and nature -- and less of an emphasis on buying things that seem to be showcased in almost every building you enter -- the experience of Animal Jam -- Play Wild! would be much richer for the target age.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about safety online. What kinds of interactions are good and healthy, and what kinds might lead to trouble? What information is not safe to share online? How can you report the inappropriate behavior of other players? How do you create a strong password?

  • When other people spend money to have nicer things, do you feel left out if they have something you don't? How can you have fun without breaking the bank?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free (In addition to in-app purchases involving sapphires, one of two types of virtual currency used in the app, for $1.99-$9.99, kids can pay $6.99 a month for a recurring membership.)
  • Release date: December 4, 2015
  • Category: Kids' Games
  • Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Ocean Creatures, Wild Animals
  • Size: 144.00 MB
  • Publisher: Wildworks, Inc.
  • Version: 30.0.15
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 8.0 or later and Android 4.1 and up. An augmented reality feature is also available for iPhones and iPads with iOS 11 or higher.

Themes & Topics

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