A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
There's a brief explanation of how to play, and the game itself (using arrows to jump over or crawl under obstacles, for the most part) is not complicated.
Violence & Scariness
Military language like "1st Field Elf Battalion" is used. Some ads are for military-style games like "Modern War."
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Products & Purchases
The entire app is sort of a promo for the movie, and many of the entities associated with the making of the movie or the app are promoted on the main page. There are ads that run on the bottom of most main screens. There's a store where you can use points to upgrade your speed and get pet food and gifts. Some purchases are made with points you are given and earn in the game; others are in-app purchases ($.99 to $49.99). There's a "more" tab that takes players to other purchasing options, such as an Arthur Christmas storybook, iTalk Arthur Christmas, and more.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Arthur Christmas: Elf Run Premium heavily promotes in-app purchases and includes access to social networks for gamers in the app. While the gameplay itself is basic enough that early elementary school-age kids are likely to be able to play it -- basically run through houses avoiding obstacles to deliver gifts -- the amount of in-app purchases and advertising (plus the option for using OpenFeint) make it incompatible with young kids unless parents are involved.
Is It Any Good?
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS: ELF RUN PREMIUM is a fine game. Kids who like the movie will likely enjoy the game. But the amount of advertising and opportunities for in-app purchases overruns the game itself. Whether promoting purchasing more "treats" (from $.99 to a $49.99 in-app purchase) to suggesting kids buy more Arthur stuff like a book or the app as a gift, this app seems more about promoting the movie and finding ways to make more money off of it than providing a fun game for kids.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.