Whac a Mole

Common Sense Media says

Challenging adaptation of smashing game; cartoon violence.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game is designed to be challenging. The tapping gestures are very responsive, and kids can replay levels for better scores, which are necessary to unlock other worlds. 

Violence

The whole idea is based on mild, cartoon-like violence: whacking moles on the head. In one game, players beat the boss mole, who's a bit more human-looking than the other moles, repeatedly until he collapses. There's no blood or gore, though.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Kids can get quite a bit of play without an in-app purchase, but they'll have to play near-perfectly on the farm to unlock the other worlds without an in-app purchase.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

An easy-to-read privacy-policy summary is included in-app, and the full version is available online. No personal information is required to play. Usage data and location data (ZIP code only) is collected, and kids can optionally connect to Game Center.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Whac a Mole adapts the classic arcade game for the tablet, adding impressive graphics and a story line. The whole premise is violent -- whacking moles on the head to kill them so they don't damage the farmer's crops -- but it's all cartoon-like. Kids also can blow up the moles using the firecracker mallet, and, in one challenge, the objective is to "beat the boss," which means they have to whack the boss mole repeatedly until he collapses. Although it's playable without in-app purchases, the challenge makes earning enough stars to unlock other worlds nearly impossible without those in-app purchases.

What's it about?

The white mole leads kids through 3-D worlds where they have to whack the moles before they get away. Kids pass a level by completing it before too many moles get away, earning coins and stars based on performance. They can use the coins to buy special mallets, such as a firecracker mallet or a time-slowing mallet, to help defeat the moles. They'll earn one, two, or three stars for each level but must earn a total of at least 40 to unlock the other worlds: the jungle and Wild West. Kids can replay levels.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

WHAC A MOLE is a great way to get out some aggressions while having some mindless fun. There's nothing to indicate any harm comes to the whacked moles, and the fast finger action gets additively challenging once kids get the hang of playing. Kids should be sure to read the challenge at the start of each level so they know what they need to do. Kids can play all the way through the farm world without needing to make any in-app purchases, but, if they want to unlock the other worlds, they'll likely need to either pay to unlock them or pay for some extra coins to upgrade their mallets.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how moles can be a pest to farmers, destroying crops and burrowing holes in the ground.

  • Compare the app to the version of the game that can still be found at many arcades. Arcade fans may want to check out our list of other app adaptations of arcade favorites.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$.99 (with in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:May 15, 2014
Category:Arcade Games
Size:95.90 MB
Publisher:Mattel, Inc.
Version:2.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of Whac a Mole was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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