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 & Apple App Stores. 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).
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.
Zombie Tsunami is a game that transforms players into a zombie that must roam the city turning others into zombies. As pedestrians and vehicles full of people are encountered the player has the opportunity to try and grow their zombie hoard. A single zombie can take on a single person, but a larger hoard is needed to take on cars and planes full of people. As the zombie hoard grows they can take on larger groups of people and grow the hoard faster. However, they must be careful to avoid obstacles like bombs and helicopters that can take out zombies!
The cartoon zombies are the biggest reason this game skews more towards children than adults. The zombies in this game are more silly than scary, with oversized heads that often don hats and costumes. There is no blood or gore during the game. As the zombie hoard overtakes individuals and vehicles full of people, there is a poof of pink smoke and the person is transformed into a zombie. That being said the graphics are not overly child-like and are still appealing to teens and adults, earning a mixed audience designation.
The music that plays in the background is upbeat and energetic, more like what you would expect of a game for children than adults. Sound effects are prevalent throughout gameplay, with zombies moaning, explosions, and people shrieking.
During game play, there are mystery boxes that transform the zombie hoard in different ways. For example, the tsunami allows the zombies to surf on a wave that takes out anything in its path. They can also be transformed into an alien zombie that shoots lasers at everything in its path or a football quarterback that crashes through obstacles.
Diamonds and coins earned during gameplay can be used to upgrade zombies, purchase customization items, and purchase zombie birds that can help out during gameplay.
Video ads are played throughout the game, usually upon dying or completing a level. Optional video ads can also be used to increase incentives or gain extra lives. The advertisements are for a mix of general audiences, mixed audiences, and child-directed apps.
Rated 9+ in the Apple App Store, Everyone 10+ in the US Google Play Store, and PEGI 7 in the European Google Play Stores. App reviews reflect a mixed audience, with numerous reviews from children and teenagers indicating they are playing the game, alongside some reviews from parents indicating that their children are playing the games. There are also quite a few reviews from adults that indicate they started playing this game when they were children.
Screenshots of Zombie Tsunami
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.
Disclaimer: The content of this page reflects Pixalate’s opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any proprietary data shared is grounded in Pixalate’s proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate’s opinions are just that - opinion, not facts or guarantees.
Per the MRC, “'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC, “‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts. Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”