Generally speaking, I prefer my children play the "real deal" when it comes to games like Minecraft. Cloning and remixing is fine as far as it goes, but most clones end up as cheap attempts to copy an original for free for the sake of generating ad revenue. The price of the game is lower than the price of the privacy you're forfeiting and the control you have over the experience for your kids.
Simply put: I don't want my children's free time monetized by these companies, nor do I want them exposed to the content of certain advertisements.
In the case of Planet Craft, the Minecraft clone, I told my boys I'd look into it so they could play with some friends who are currently enjoying it. It was covered in ads with no apparent way to disable them from the main menus or initial in-app store.
However, I found that the following works:
- Enter the Global Survival Multiplayer game.
- Tap the shopping cart icon in the top right of the screen.
- Scroll to find the "Remove Ads" product for 35 gems.
- Pay $1 to get 100 gems and purchase that product.
All ads are now gone, and I hope my boys have a fun time exploring and creating with their friends. Perhaps when they're a little older and more experienced, we can setup a private Minecraft environment for them all to play on. For that to be successful now, I'd need to make it a little easier for them to just log in and have an adventure. Open to mod ideas in the meantime!