If you are one of those parents who let your child surf app distribution platforms (like App Store and Google Play) and download any games, you may risk your child’s safety. The games your child downloads may not be appropriate for their age. They can also put your child’s personal information at risk. Some of these games are breeding grounds for child molesters. To keep your kid safe, we suggest you help your kid choose safe mobile games for kids.
This article tells you what to look for when choosing a safe mobile game for kids. We explain the risks your child faces when playing inappropriate games downloaded from unreliable resources and how to protect them. We will also introduce some safe mobile games for kids of all ages.
What risks does your child face when downloading and playing games?
App Store does not allow children under the age of 14 to download applications, and Google Play does not allow children under the age of 13 to download applications. However, not all children follow the rule. They sometimes fake their age or use third party app distribution platforms. When kids use third-party app distribution platforms (and quite a few), they primarily risk infecting their devices with malware. Apart from that, they are exposed to a plethora of untrustworthy mobile games.
Here is a list of untrustworthy mobile game problems that can endanger children’s safety:
- Age Inappropriate Content (Violence & Sex)
- To sue
- In-App Purchases
- In-App Chat
- data collection
Some parents don’t consider these issues as serious security risks. In the following lines, we will explain why these are indeed serious issues.
Games on official app distribution platforms are selected according to the age group proposed by developers and platform moderators. They are given an age rating based on their theme, gameplay difficulty, and content. Games rated ALL or E have content suitable for all ages. Those called 12+, 15+, or T usually contain some violence or nudity. Games rated 18+ are suitable for adults.
Younger children are more vulnerable to violent content. Therefore, you should discourage your child from downloading and playing games that are not recommended for their age.
Purchased games do not contain ads, but most free games do. Showing ads to users is one of the ways developers make money from their products. However, Einds can be harmful to children for four reasons. First, they drive children to spend money on products they may not need. Second, they can encourage other games that are not suitable for young children. Third, they sometimes feature nudity and videos designed to entice older audiences to click links. Finally, they can share links leading to phishing sites.
For the above reasons, we recommend your child firstly not to click on these ads and secondly to choose trustworthy games that will not show inappropriate ads.
In-app purchases are another way developers monetize their games. Children can buy items for their avatars or unlock levels in some games by paying money. These purchases usually require a small amount of money, but when they accumulate they can be significant.
In addition to spending too much, grocery shopping can set a wrong example for children. If the games have to pay money to advance to higher levels, they might encourage a „pay-to-win“ mindset, meaning you always have to spend money to grow in life.
Some communication games offer an in-app chat feature that children can use to message or chat with their peers. This feature is designed to help kids build teams and plan strategies. However, predators take advantage of it to abuse children. These individuals may be adults or their peers who send vulgar, derogatory, or sexual language to children or attempt to nurture or bully them.
Some games allow users to disable in-app chat functionality while others do not. It’s up to parents to help kids download games creating a safe environment for kids by moderating in-app messages.
Most games collect user data for gameplay or to serve related ads. However, some of them can be dangerous covert malware that steals personal information. So, you should be careful about the important information your kid shares with games such as: B. Credit card credentials.
To ensure your child’s safety, we recommend that you prohibit your child from downloading unknown games from untrustworthy platforms. You can block these platforms with Safes (we will explain how later in this article).
5 safe mobile games for kids of all ages
Here we have listed 5 safe games for kids of all ages. They are organized by age ratio from lowest to highest. You can download them on App Store, Google Play or other trusted app distribution platforms.
[Toca Life Logo] Toca Life
Toca Life is a series of games for preschoolers. With Toca Life children can create their own colorful world with multiple characters and stories that the game offers. For example, they can adopt and train a pet or build a hair salon.
Almost all Toca Life series games, such as Toca Life: Pets and Toca Life: City, should be bought. Although one of them, called Toca Life World, is free. However, the game comes with in-app purchase options that you can turn off in settings.
Toca Life does not display ads or inappropriate content and does not have an in-app chat feature. It is available on Android and iOS devices.
[Pokémon Playhouse Logo] Pokemon Playhouse
Pokémon was first released on Nintendo gaming consoles in 1996 and was later adapted into a popular anime series. You are already familiar with the characters and atmosphere of the game. Pokémon Playhouse collects the well-known Pokémon characters in a mobile game for preschoolers. Children can nurture and care for their favorite characters and explore different places.
Pokémon Playhouse is free to play but contains in-app purchases that parents can disable. It has no in-app chat and does not show ads. It is available on Android and iOS devices.
[MentalUP Logo] MentalUP Educational Games
MentalUP offers a variety of educational games for kids from preschool through tweens. These games increase children’s intelligence through memory training, critical thinking, decision making and many other brain cognitive games.
MentalUP contains no advertising and no in-app chat. It is not a free game but offers a 7-day free trial. To continue playing, you must purchase subscriptions. MentalUP is available on Android and iOS devices.
[The Sims Mobile Logo] The Sims Mobile
The Sims is a famous game that was first released on PCs in 2000. Gameplay has not changed in The Sims Mobile. You probably played The Sims when you were a kid. But if not, The Sims is, in short, a game of life. Children can create human characters called Sims, feed them, teach them, help them grow up and keep going until they are old and eventually die. Sims can build homes, purchase items, start families, adopt pets, interact with other Sims, and many other activities.
The Sims Mobile is restricted to children over the age of 12 as they imply (not show) sexuality. Kids can play The Sims Mobile for free on Android and iOS devices; However, in-app purchases are included. The Sims Mobile has no ads and no in-app chat.
Fortnite is a popular Play Station game for teenagers. The gameplay of the mobile version is the same: it involves choosing avatars and participating in survival battles. Because Fortnite contains violence and in-app chat, it is recommended for 13+ kids. Fortnite is a free app but doesn’t show ads; in return, there are in-app purchases.
In-app chat may pose a safety risk for younger children. However, you can turn it off in the app settings.
How can safes make your child’s gaming safer?
As mentioned earlier, as a parent, you must take responsibility for your child’s safety while playing games on mobile phones. However, safes can help you in this matter. Safes is a parental control app that allows parents to monitor and control how their children use their mobile devices and the internet. Safes have comprehensive features that can make your child’s gaming safer. These features include:
- screen time monitoring
- Screen Schedules
- Screen Time Profiles
- Immediate blocking (device pause)
- bedtime mode
- Block apps
- web blocking
- Keyword blocking
- activity report
Below we explain how each of the Safes features can help you keep your child safe while playing.
screen time monitoring
Screen time is the time you spend on smart devices with a screen, e.g. B. Cell phones. OSF Healthcare advises parents not to expose their children under the age of 2 to screens, except during video calls with family and friends. It recommends less than 1 hour of screen time per day for children between the ages of 2-5. If further suggests a maximum of 2 hours of screen time for older children, except for homework.
To keep your kid’s screen time within the safe limit, we recommend using Safe’s screen time monitoring tool. With Safes, you can set time limits for a group of apps or each app individually. When your child reaches the limit, the app will shut down automatically.
Safes allows you to set screen time limits for different days of the week. That means you might let your child play more on weekdays and less on weekdays. The schedule automatically repeats itself during the week.
screen time profile
You can create a Screen Time profile for specific days of the week. For example, you can create a screen schedule for holidays and vacations. You don’t have to remove and reset your weekly schedule. You can easily put on and take off the profile.
Immediate blocking (device pause)
You can use the instant block or pause device feature if your child is excessively engaged in a game and won’t listen when you ask them to lay their phone out. You can pause your child’s device with one click in the Safes app on your phone. Your device would only work for sending SMS and making calls.
Due to the addictive nature of games, children usually prefer to play for hours if they are left undisturbed. However, this problem can cause children to stay up after bed and play games. If this is the case for your child, you should try Safes‘ Bedtime Mode feature.
Bedtime mode works just like Instant Block, except you can set your child’s phone to pause at a specific time of the night.
Geofence allows you to select a geographic area and apply certain rules to it. With the GPS on your child’s phone, Safes applies the rules you specify when your child enters that area. For example, if you don’t want your child to play games at school, you can select the school and block all games. When your child enters the school, the games will no longer work.
The app blocker feature can ban dangerous or inappropriate games on your kid’s phone. If you don’t want your child to download games at all, you can block Google Play or the App Store.
If you don’t want your child to play untrustworthy games online or access untrustworthy app distribution platforms over the internet, you can block access. Safes has inappropriate websites in different genres _games included_ that you can block. You can add your own sites or make exceptions to the list.
Like web blocking, Safes has created lists of inappropriate search terms that you can block on your kid’s phone. If there’s a specific game you don’t want your child to search for (that’s not on the list), you can add the game’s name to the blocked keywords list.
Safes will send you daily, weekly and monthly reports on your kid’s phone usage. These reports can help you determine if your child is overusing a game. You can also see if your child has downloaded any new games. If you find the newly downloaded games inappropriate, you can block them. If there is a game that your child is using excessively, you can limit it.
Mobile games may seem harmless to many parents, but games downloaded from reliable app distribution sources can damage your child’s phone or steal their private information. On the other hand, not all games are suitable for all ages. On official app distribution platforms, games are age-dependent. T-Tube with 12+ and 15+ may contain violent or sexual content unsuitable for younger children. Ads, in-app purchases, in-app chat, and data collection are other important issues to consider when choosing safe mobile games for kids.
Safe’s parental control app can help you create a safe gaming experience for your child. With Safes, you can monitor and restrict your child’s screen time, internet usage, and games installed on their phone.
frequently asked Questions
Why are games rated on the App Store and Google Play?
Games on the App Store, Google Play and other official distribution platforms are rated based on their content. While games rated ALL or E have appropriate content for all ages, content rated 12+, 15+, or T has some level of violence or nudity. If kids are coming into their age honestly, they won’t be able to download games that are older than their age from the Apps Store and Google Play. In addition, the ratings help parents to decide whether the game is suitable for their children or not.
Why are ads in games a safety risk for children?
Ads get kids to spend money on products they may not need. Also, they can encourage other games that are not suitable for young children. Additionally, they sometimes feature nudity to entice older audiences to click links. Most importantly, they can share links to phishing sites.
Can chatting in game apps harm my child’s safety?
If the messages your child receives in the game they are playing are not monitored, they can pose safety risks to your child. P-Redators can use in-app chat on games to abuse children. The predators can be adults or children. You can send vulgar, abusive or sexual words in public chat rooms or try to nurture or bully children in private chats.