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Bunch Group Video Chat & Games

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Bunch Group Video Chat & Games App Poster Image
Play games while video chatting with simple social network.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

Video chat is easy to initiate; finding enough games to share is not. 

Violence

No violence in the app itself; third-party games and video and text chat could contain images or and/or references to violence. 

Sex

No sex in the app itself; third-party games and video and text chat could contain images or and/or suggestive references. 

Language

No bad language in the app itself; third-party games and video and text chat could contain profanity.

Consumerism

Third party games could require purchase or contain in-app purchases. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drugs, drinking, or smoking in the app itself; third-party games and video and text chat could contain images or and/or references to such things. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bunch Group Video Chat & Games is a social networking app that lets users make audio/visual calls while playing a selection of mobile video game apps. Registration requires users' phone numbers or connection to their Facebook accounts, and the app requests access to users' contact lists as well as mobile device cameras and microphones. It comes with three simple mobile games and a short list of other compatible apps (which must be downloaded separately). It also claims to “secretly” work with other apps, expecting users to discover these for themselves. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

BUNCH GROUP VIDEO CHAT & GAMES is a video chat app that lets you see a friend and chat while playing mobile games with your friends. Three simple games come with the download: Flappy Birds, Mars Dash, and Charades; others must be downloaded separately. The app uses your contact list and lets you invite friends via iMessage, Bunch Code, (a scannable QR code), Facebook, and other social media apps. You can't play the games bvy yourself. First have to “start a party” (invite friends), and the game starts when at least one of them accepts. Small video windows overlay the game screen so you and your friends can see and hear one another during the game or use text chat. You can turn off camera and microphone function at any time. 

Is it any good?

This simple app's been compared to popular PC voice/text chat service, Discord, but it has a ways to go before being quite as useful. For one thing, its usage at the time of this writing is very limited; Bunch Group Video Chat & Games comes bundled with three simple games, and the app itself doesn't offer any downloadable alternatives. True, if you register using your Facebook account, you get a welcome email with a list of games  like Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft), but the list is disappointingly short. Also, signing up with Facebook means more data sharing, which more and more people are trying to avoid. The developers claim there are other games “secretly” supported by the app, but seems to expect you to find those on your own. This oddly obstructive approach becomes even more disappointing if you choose not to connect your Facebook account and instead sign up with your phone number. Phone registrants get no welcome message or game list, and are likely to think they're stuck with only the three games that come with the app. The developers provide a built-in suggestion box asking users to suggest games to be added in the future, but that's not much consolation for the current limited selection. On the plus side, what the app does have works reasonably well. And from a kid safety standpoint, the contact list-based friend selection seems to prevent kids from  friending -- or being friended by -- strangers. The problem is, if it wants to become a Discord-like, must-have mobile game add-on, it's got to broaden its usability by well, a lot. Until that happens, other, better screen sharing options will continue to beat it out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about video/voice chat safety in Bunch Group Video Chat & Games and other apps. Who is it safe to chat with? What kinds of information should you keep offline?

  • Think about apps that point you toward third-party downloads. What are the risks of downloading something you're not familiar with, that's recommended by other programs, or that doesn't exist in one of the official app stores?

  • Discuss how game-related voice/video chat could be misused. What's okay to say and not to say? What are the risks of using it for something other than game-related chat?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: October 12, 2017
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 178.10 MB
  • Publisher: 500 Labs
  • Version: 4.0.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later

For kids who love social networking

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