A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
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; 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?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, 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.
- Last updated: February 8, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.