I've owned this game for several years now. I know adults who play it and love it, and I also knew a 2-year-old who loved it very much and played it with ease. It's the most life-like pet simulation game there is and features lots of surprises. There are lots of accesories and toys to find on walks, and lots of tricks to teach your pup beyond what is in the obedience trial handbook. I would not worry about who your child is meeting via "Bark mode", inless you live in a very crowded city. It is not a wi-fi connection, only local connection, meaning the person your child is meeting would have to be within very close range of you and also in bark mode at the moment... not very likely inless it is a planned meet-up, in my opinion, however I do live in a very rural area.