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Mobile App Manual Review under COPPA Rule: ‘Dinosaur Digger 3 - for kids'

Feb 21, 2024 12:30:00 PM

Welcome to Pixalate’s CTV & Mobile App Manual Reviews According to COPPA, a series containing the detailed factors the Trust & Safety Advisory Board educators used to assess an app’s child-directedness.

The educators manually review thousands of mobile apps available in the Google Play & Apple App Stores as well as connected TV (CTV) apps from the Roku Channel Store and Amazon Fire TV App Store using the COPPA Rule factors shown below & make those results available to the public at ratings.pixalate.com.

This post takes a look at a game which is available from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Our reviewer discusses how the subjective factors set forth in the COPPA Rule apply to the app and factor into the reviewer's determination as to whether the app is child-directed or general audience (i.e., it is not targeting children).

Manually reviewed in this post

The 10 COPPA Rule factors

The teacher will indicate the factors they relied upon in their assessment using the 10 factors shown below that reflect the 10 child-directed factors in the COPPA Rule.

Reviewed by: Tabitha Walker

Tabitha Walker

Manual Review: Dinosaur Digger 3 - for kids

Likely audience after manual review

COPPA factors used to determine audience

Dinosaurs and construction trucks, possibly two of the most favorite things of kids worldwide. This app brilliantly combines these two subjects together for a game that would be hard for many kids to resist. Kids can control a construction truck to drill, dig, and smash their way through obstacles. Along the way they collect gems, most of which are hidden within rocks or other places along the course. 

The controls are very simple and easy for even the youngest children to master. The trucks simply move forwards or backwards, there is no jumping or need to avoid any types of obstacles. Occasionally there is also tapping to destroy a rock, collect gems, or to move up/down on an elevator. 

The levels are very simple and players don’t appear to be able to die during a level. Falling down the rare open space just takes the player down to continue on a different path. At some point there is always an opportunity to get back up. This allows children to feel like there are infinite ways to play the two free levels available, while adults would be bored very quickly

Although there are only two trucks that are unlocked in the free version, there is an option to pay to have access to all six different trucks.


The animation in this app is very appealing to toddlers and preschoolers. The dinosaur that drives the truck even appears to be a baby dinosaur, further appealing to children. The background includes things such as volcanoes and fire torches that increase the excitement for children. There is even a little animation of the dinosaur closing his eyes as he drives past a rock that releases steam. 

There is no written language within the app, making it intuitive for a child to figure out how to navigate. The dinosaur driver says simple things like “ah-ha” and makes small nonsensical noises. When a new type of obstacle is encountered a flashing hand appears to show children how to interact with it. The most complicated instruction that I encountered was a ferris wheel type of machine that moved the dinosaur and truck from one place to another and needed the user to trace the outline of the wheel to turn it.

There are numerous sound effects within the game. The trucks themselves make noises, such as starting the truck, drilling, and smashing sounds. Other sound effects are heard as the player navigates through the level, like creaking bridges or whooshing steam. While there is music that plays on the start screen, this music is mercifully gone during game play- something I am sure many parents appreciate!

Gems can be uncovered and collected as the players progress through the game. Occasionally, treasure chests are also discovered that are filled with gems. However, these gems don’t appear to be used for anything in the game. The gems seem to be present to simply give a purpose to the digging, smashing, drilling, or wherever else the trucks are doing. This is enough of an incentive for a preschooler, who wouldn’t be able to fully grasp an incentive system involving trading in gems for other prizes. Young children would be equally incentivized by the fireworks that shoot off once the truck crosses the finish line!

The home screen contains multiple advertisements for other apps by the same developer and ads occasionally pop up to ask the user to purchase the levels for the locked trucks. There do not appear to be any outside advertisements within the game.


With “for kids” being in the title of the app, it is clear from the start that children are the target audience. This is reinforced by the app description which states the app is “recommended for children ages 2-5.” This age range is reflected in the app reviews, with most reviews being from parents mentioning their children four and under are playing the game.


According to the privacy policy, which is undated, the developers are aware of and comply with COPPA requirements. They indicate they do not require any information to use the app and do not collect any personal identifiable information from users. The only information they collect is non-personal identifiable information about interactions with the app in order to further develop and improve the app. They also indicate that there is an option for parents to share their email addresses to opt-in for a newsletter.

Find Pixalate's full catalogue of reviews in our CTV and Mobile App Review Page

Screenshots of Dinosaur Digger 3 - for kids

About Pixalate’s Trust & Safety Advisory Board

Pixalate’s Trust and Safety Advisory Board was created to bring in individuals with experience using child-directed apps in the classroom to review and assess which apps are child-directed. This manual review process serves to quality check Pixalate’s automated review process. See our full methodology for more information.


This blog post published by Pixalate is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice. By viewing this blog post, the reader understands and agrees that there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction(s), and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning any specific situation. The content of this blog post reflects Pixalate's opinions with respect to factors that Pixalate believes may be useful to the digital media industry. Pixalate's opinions are just that, opinions, which means that they are neither facts nor guarantees; and this blog post is not intended to impugn the standing or reputation of any entity, person or app, but instead, to report findings pertaining to mobile and Connected TV (CTV) apps.

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