Mobbles Game Review – for Android and iOS
The idea of collecting cute, little fictional creatures is not a new concept for a game like Mobbles. In fact, several manga-inspired “collect them all” type games have been hugely successful in the United States: consider the likes of Pokemon, Digimon and the Tamagatchi. Like these games, Mobbles is all about building up your character inventory and taking care of these creatures like pets. But the creators of Mobbles have added a neat little dynamic that involves smartphone GPS location technology. Now, before you read any further into this review, please know that due to privacy and safety implications that can arise, I highly recommend leaving your child’s smartphone GPS locator turned OFF as often as possible. Though helpful in many situations, GPS technology (geotagging, location services) can create serious privacy risks for your entire family. You can learn more about this here.
With that being said, Mobbles is a really fun game with a lot of potential behind it. The goal is to catch Mobbles, feed them, dress them up, play with them and trade them with other players. Players can purchase Mobbles Eggs (new Mobbles), rooms (where Mobbles live) outfits and food from the in-game store by using the game’s virtual currency, Crystals. Players can acquire Crystals by playing the game in certain ways, like logging on several times in one day, or by redeeming mobbDollars, another form of currency that can also be acquired in several ways, including real money purchases through the App Store or Google Play Store. Mobbles is free to download and play, but mobbDollars is where the developers make their money.
The game also lets you catch and trade unique Mobbles based on your current GPS location, as well as other unique Mobbles that are released to players on a weekly basis. As if the characters themselves weren’t cute enough already, each Mobble comes with their very own back story, making the game a little more immersive for kids.
There is a lot to like about Mobbles. The game is engaging, the clean, vector-style artwork is very impressive, and each Mobble offers plenty of color and cute animations. Mobbles is very easy to pick up and play, and even easier if you have children who are familiar with games of its genre. Advertisements are nonexistent in the game, and bugs were nowhere to be found during our time with the game. It became fairly obvious pretty quickly that the creators of Mobbles didn’t go into development without funds. This game is crisp, clean and well thought out.
As mentioned earlier, Mobbles can be caught based on your child’s smartphone GPS location. This is done through the Mobbles Radar, which, parents should know, is a completely optional way of catching Mobbles. The Mobbles Radar is essentially a Google Map that shows the Mobbles that are catchable in the vicinity of your physical location. Anything within the green radar circle can be caught, and all others will require you to do a bit of walking around the neighborhood. When played with a parent, this feature can add an entirely new, family-friendly dynamic to the game.
In addition to the safety and privacy risks that can result from unsupervised GPS location use, there is one other thing I want to caution parents about, and that’s the in-game virtual store. If your credit card is tied to your child’s smartphone, either through the Apple App Store or the Android’s Google Play Store, please keep in mind that a few taps is all it takes to increase the size of their mobbDollars wallet and your credit card bill. I recommend either deleting your credit card information and/or establishing some rules in your house about in-app purchases. “In-app purchases” probably isn’t something you anticipated having to talk to your kids about, but it’s frankly just another reality of parenting in the digital age. That being said, if your credit card absolutely needs to be on file with your child’s smartphone then use this guide to learn how you can disable in-app purchases.
Overall, Mobbles is a wonderful game for your child, especially if they’re asking for a pet but they’re not yet ready for the responsibility. Granted parents take heed of the implications that can arise from the virtual store GPS feature, Mobbles can be a great way to add some adventure to walks around the neighborhood or trips to the park with the family. Learn more about Mobbles and reviews from other parents by visiting their website or app store page.