Ghost Pop!

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Ghost Pop! App Poster Image
Fun, clever arcade game frustratingly pushes a lot of ads.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Simple touch controls, but gameplay is challenging, especially at first.

Violence & Scariness

Players kill enemies, but they're destroyed with light, and the game's stylized/pixelated visuals keep it from being gory.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Players can either buy in-game coins or earn them by playing or watching ads. These coins are used to improve flashlight, change its color, or buy different playable characters. Ads also appear between rounds, and there's an option to buy an ad-free version.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ghost Pop! is an arcade game for iOS and Android devices. It has no inappropriate content in the game. While there are scary creatures and they die with the use of light, the game's stylized, old-school visuals keep this from being scary or gory. In-game currency can be bought with real money, or earned through playing or by watching ads. This currency is then used to improve the strength and duration of your flashlight or change its color, or to play as different characters, including a vampire, a ninja, and some clearly built around popular characters from other games. There are also random ads between rounds, though you don't get any coins for watching those. You can also buy the ad-free version of the game. Read the app's privacy policy on the game's website to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

In GHOST POP!, a young girl wearing a reddish hood is walking through the haunted forest with only her flashlight to protect her from the local monsters and ghosts. Good thing they all suffer from an allergy to light, and pop whenever you shine your flashlight on them. Players have to try to get as far as they possibly can without becoming overwhelmed by enemies when their batteries run out of power. Eliminating ghosts earns you coins to purchase better flashlights, letting you get farther each time.

Is it any good?

While this clever arcade game can be fun, the gameplay and heightened focus on squeezing cash from you can be very frustrating when you first start playing. In Ghost Pop!, you're a red hood-wearing young woman who's out for a stroll through a scary forest when you come upon a bunch of scary monsters and super creeps. Good thing you have a flashlight and they have an allergy to light. By sliding your finger left and right, you shine your flashlight on your enemies, making them, well, pop. The problem is that you clearly bought a cheap flashlight, and you're using the batteries that came with it, which is why, when you first start this game, you die rather quickly and often. It's only after you play a while (and, let's be honest, watch a bunch of ads to triple your take-home pay) that you'll actually last long enough to start enjoying this clever arcade game. Which is why, though it's initially annoying, you'll soon realize that once you Ghost Pop!, you just can't stop.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Do the pixelated visuals in Ghost Pop! make you feel better about killing all those enemies? How about the fact that they're not people?

  • Ghost Pop! has a lot of ads, and really encourages you to watch them, but how does this make you feel about the game? Does it seem like it's only made to push products?

  • Some of the characters you can play as are blatant rip-offs of ones from cartoons and other games. Do you think this is fair to the creators of those other franchises?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love action

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