A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
While London 2012 - Official Mobile Game may encourage kids to take an interest in the sports of the Olympic Games, the app wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.
Ease of Play
The sports of the Olympics are largely a series of screen taps and swipes here, and they are thoroughly explained in the game's tutorials. Getting the hang of them takes little time, but getting the timing down and tapping/swiping fast enough takes some practice.
Violence & Scariness
The Double Trap event features firearms, but shots are fired at clay pigeons. Similarly, archery features bows and arrows, shot at targets.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Avatars wear uniforms that show bare midriffs and they wear short shorts, but the avatars themselves are cartoonish and there's no sexuality implied.
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Products & Purchases
Players have a set amount of stamina. Once that expires, their characters see fewer benefits and rewards from playing, but they can purchase additional stamina using real money. They can also purchase more in-game currency, player items, and characters with better stats. In-app purchases range from 99 cents to $100.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that London 2012 - Official Mobile Game is a lighthearted replication of some of the more popular sports of the Summer Olympic Games. The game is free of most objectionable content, though there are a couple that feature weapons and target shooting. The larger concern is the push for in-app purchases, which let players buy different outfits, unlock new sports, and buy stamina, which lets them play more. Players can also earn coins for these through gameplay. A paid "premium" version of the app gives players extra coins and stamina, letting them play for longer sessions. A social option allows players to send messages to others and upload a photo.
Is It Any Good?
London 2012 - Official Mobile Game strives to be the heir apparent to Wii Sports and the arcade classic Track & Field. Unfortunately, it falls short of that goal. It's certainly entertaining to pound your device's screen with your fingers/thumbs, but the game's responsiveness is average (and not where it needs to be for a reflex title like this). And the tacked-on in-app purchase elements seem like an obvious money-grab (a premium version provides more currency, stamina, and experience points).
Also, the app is plagued with minor technical glitches that are annoyances. If you're going to play, get the free version.
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.