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ECOsystem Inc : Save The Planet

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
ECOsystem Inc : Save The Planet App Poster Image
Environmental sim polluted by ads, lack of guidance.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids might pick up general concepts around green energy and its potential use around the world, and they'll need to use strategy, but without more guidance or information, they probably won't pick up much.

Ease of Play

While navigation is simple, there is no tutorial or help function to explain how to play/what's going on. 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Pressure to watch ads to earn money/lower pollution.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that ECOsystem INC: Save The Planet is an environmental simulation game that encourages kids to lower pollution and adopt green energy measures. Kids should have a basic understanding of pollution and green energy solutions prior to playing in order to even begin to understand the game. There are several buttons on the gameplay screen offering in-game currency and other perks for watching. Kids will feel pressure to watch in order to meet game goals in time. 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.

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What's it about?

ECOSYSTEM INC: SAVE THE PLANET is an environmental simulation that encourages kids to use greener technologies for energy in an effort to reduce pollution. Kids start with a task, such as raising a certain amount of money, or lowering pollution levels in an area. They have 50 years to meet the goal by increasing green energy, lowering the use of standard energy measures, and enacting measures such as planting trees and educating people about recycling. These controls are managed on a per continent basis. Kids need to balance spending with income from energy sources and also need to ensure that each continent has enough energy to meet its needs. As time progresses, events unfold that impact energy consumption, pollution, and other factors. There could be a riot, a scientific report about the pros/cons of a particular technology, or a natural disaster. If you complete your goal in the timeframe allotted, you win. Watching in-game ads can speed things along by giving you large sums of cash, decreases in pollution, and increases in energy creation.

Is it any good?

Though the idea behind this simulation game is potentially impactful, its execution leaves a lot of be desired. In order for this type of game to be effective, it's important that the players understand the mechanics and how their moves impact the end goal. ECOsystem INC: Save the Planet ultimately fails in this regard, which negates not only the educational value, but the level of fun. The premise is a good one: How can you reverse the effects of pollution around the world? But with no tutorial, help, or guide, players are left spending money without necessarily knowing why. What does "Biomass" mean in the context of energy creation? Why would you want to use solar energy vs. hydroelectric in a particular region? Are any of the energies more efficient than the others? None of these questions are answered making it difficult to know which technologies to invest in at any given time. The app does provide a few hints at the beginning of a mission, but those only serve to make things more mindless. If you want to make a lot of money, but don't care about the planet, simply keep upgrading all the green technologies without spending elsewhere. Winning the missions often comes down to spending the money as soon as it comes in on the first thing you can afford. Once you start using the ads to lower pollution/raise energy production, any hope for realism is lost. In the end, this sim lacks depth and challenge, and the bigger message it's trying to send is lost along the way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pollution as kids play ECOsystem Inc : Save the Planet. What is it? Why should we be concerned? How can we help reduce it?

  • What are green energy technologies? Why might you use one type of technology in an area and a different type in another area? Are there downsides to the green technologies?

  • Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why or why not? What can you learn?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love going green and simulation games

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