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Mobile App Manual Review under COPPA Rule: ‘The Wolf'

May 24, 2023 9:30:00 AM

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 popular mobile app from the Google Play 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: The Wolf

Likely audience after manual review

COPPA factors used to determine audience

This role-playing game allows players to become a wolf, complete with lots of hunting and howling. Players are given quests of certain numbers and types of animals to hunt down and can then freely roam until they find those animals. Smaller animals, such as rabbits and rats are taken out easily; while larger animals such as bears, moose, and bobcats can kill the wolf. This game encourages players to team up with each other to take on larger prey. Wolves are one of the more popular wild animals among children and are often the top choice for research projects in elementary schools. This interest is not always outgrown, and many adults also hold a special interest in wolves. This type of role-playing game is also popular with children and adults alike.


Birdsong and other wilderness noises play in the background of the game, alongside any animal noises made by the various prey the wolf encounters. Wolves can howl to summon other players to help attack larger prey. As quests are completed reward sounds are played and players earn gems and coins that can be used to upgrade their wolves.


The graphics in this game are sophisticated, appealing to adults and children alike. The wolves roam around beautiful landscapes full of mountains, waterfalls, and other stunning visuals. The animals themselves are animated in a realistic style, not cartoon-like in any way. 

Despite a large component of the game being kill other animals, the fights between the wolves and the other animals are not gruesome. There is no blood or gore, the animation just looks like two animals lunging at each other while an energy bar decreases above them. When an animal dies in the game, it falls to the ground and eventually disappears. When the player’s wolf is killed, they just reincarnate back at the starting point and can continue playing. This allows the app to be freely used by children without parents needing to worry about the gore factor.

This app is rated Everyone 10+ in the US Google Play store, PEGI 12 in European Google Play Stores, and 12+ in the Apple App Store. Reviews indicate a mixture of children and adults that are using this app. However, many reviews indicate that while the gameplay is child friendly, the chat feature often contains inappropriate language and interactions. Many reviews advise that parents should be cautious about their children using the app due to the chat feature.

There are no advertisements during normal game play, however, video ads can be watched for bonuses. These advertisements tend to be geared towards a general audience, mostly for other mobile apps.


According to the privacy policy, which was last updated on December 14, 2022, this app is not intended for use by children under 13. However, even the developers seem to acknowledge the appeal of their app for children and have put together a separate Parent’s Guide. Despite their insistence that all of their apps are for 13+, the inclusion of a Parent’s Guide that directly addresses children’s privacy concerns indicates that they are expecting children to be a significant portion of their users. The parental guide contains more general information about how to turn off in-app purchases and the importance of monitoring children on mobile devices than it does on what kind of information they collect. They do note “that upon verification of your child’s age, we may turn off the collection of your child’s advertising identifiers as well as restrict access to the in-game chat.” However, in my experience playing this game, I was still able to chat with other players, even when selecting an age of under 13. Parents should exercise caution when allowing their children to use this app.

Screenshots of The Wolf

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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