Stay Vigilent…When they can’t fool you, they go for your kids!

I love it.  My son has called me with the 3rd game he wants to sign up for on the computer.

Picture of dead sea scroll cave with "Support Mindfuel Blog on Patreon" shamelessly promoted on top

“This time I checked,” he said, “It says right on their site there are no viruses, no malware, and no spyware!”

“Buddy,” I replied, “If I was going to write software that installed a virus, or did something nasty, do you think I would admit that on my website or tell you it was safe?”

“You’d tell me it was safe…” he glumly responded (The guilt we must endure as we save them from themselves. Agonizing, ain’t it?)

So, I visited the website…  www.PlayPickle.com – and look…they have Super Mario Brothers!! For Free!! And below their disclaimer they say they have an easily removed ad-sponsored toolbar.  Wow, that is almost convincing! But what are the odds that Play Turtle, LLC bought the rights to produce this game from Nintendo? I think not… Nintendo would never do something that stupid for a tiny company based out of Wyoming.

This website pretends to be a free game
"Free Nintendo Game" scammers install "easily removeable toolbar"

So, I give these scammers some credit – they admit they don’t own the rights to Super Mario Brothers, and they admit that they are installing software on your computer.  But what they don’t tell you is, that cute little game your child is playing, is illegal. If they are willing to violate the law to produce a game without permission from the owner, why in the world would anyone trust them to NOT install something nasty on your machine? Think that “ad supported toolbar” is really gone when you uninstall? I doubt it.

And this “approved installation” makes it one of the most dangerous kinds of software, because it has YOUR permission to install.  Who knows what kind of information is being leeched off your machine.  IMHO, do yourself a favor, endure the guilt trip, and just say no.  In the meantime, he will JUST have to make do with the 4 other Mario-based games we got for him over the last couple years. Sigh… must this life be so rough on the poor chap?

24 thoughts on “Stay Vigilent…When they can’t fool you, they go for your kids!”

  1. Kudos to you for keeping a close eye on your son’s computer habits! Funny–I just wrote a blog post about Playpickle yesterday(!), but I had a different reaction to the site. I appreciate the fact that Playpickle tells you right away what you’re in for: you have to download its toolbar, which, in turn, will send you a handful of pop-up ads a day. That’s pretty standard for these free game sites. But I used the uninstaller (just click on Deactivate at the bottom of the starting page) and I’ve had no problems with pop-ups since.

    Good luck!

    1. I understand that is what they SAY they do, but all you have to do is research “root kits” and there is no telling what they have left behind. The fact that they are making games using content they have not licensed makes them more shady, IMHO. Anyway thanks for writing and best of luck!

      1. Hey, I found some cool links on how to test unfamiliar websites for malware. Try avgthreatlabs.com/sitereports and onlinelinkscan.com.

        Be well, N

      2. Common sense would have gave me the same impression, but the fact is there’s a statute of limitations for emulation. The game in question is over 25 years old, and it’s not being manufactured for sale. Still I think you’re absolutely right about toolbars and other nonsense .exe files. Companies like Play-Pickle are a cancer on the internet, although there are far-more-malicious web-based “companies” out there than these knuckleheads.

        1. True – a patent or trademark has a short shelf-life; however the likenesses are subject to Copyright laws which protect creative works (images, writing, etc) and those start at 50 years last I checked 🙂

  2. Watch out!! you can remove the toolbar but it leaves behind a “browser helper” which return unwanted results every time you search. It customize your browser to rdirect to selected sites that had partnered with playplickle.
    In my opinion,,,,bad!!! don’t use it!!.

  3. I made the mistake of allowing my son to install Play Pickle. It ran through the contacts list of my open yahoo.com email account and exported it somewhere! Everyone on my contacts list is getting spammed like crazy.

    I uninstalled play pickle. Ran AVG malware / virus / rootkit scans. Deleted all my contacts out of yahoo mail. Changed my password.

    Short answer: This site is MALWARE – stay away.

    1. Once your email is in their marketing network, you are a gonner unless you change your email address. Sorry to hear that has happened 🙁

  4. Thank you. I was actually tempted by it’s ads that i looked at it and decided its too good to be true. I was kinda close to beleiving it. Thanks.

  5. I’m getting a small pop-up in the middle of my screen that is asking me to O.K. it regarding playpicklelib32.dll. I keep closing it but it’s slowing things down. Now the Mario option is coming up. None of us have opened any or O.K.ed anything. How do I get rid of it? We have Webroot but it isn’t acknowledging it.

    1. I am not sure what to recommend there. You can try deleting all your temp files – maybe Google “[Your Browser] Delete Temp Files”, you may have to boot into Safe Mode (another Google query) and see if you can find and remove that DLL by force, and you may need to remove it from your registry (which can trash your machine so be careful if you try that).

  6. Free antivirus “Microsoft Security Essentials” will pick it up as “Adware:Win32/GameVance” and clean it for you.

    Playpickle know they install adware so they also offer their own removal tool to prevent legal issues.
    Their removal tool seem to be legit and can be found at:
    http://playpickle.com/deactivate/

    Or if you prefer to remove manually:

    1. Click on the Start Menu button

    2. If you are using classic Start Menu select Settings option, if not skip this step

    3. Click on the Control Panel option

    4. Start Add/Remove Programs applet :

    (Windows 2000/XP) Double click on “Add/Remove Programs” icon

    (Windows Vista, Windows 7) Double click on “Programs and Features”

    5. Select PlayPickle from the list of programs

    6. Uninstall program

    (Windows 2000/XP) Click on Remove button

    (Windows Vista+) Click on Uninstall button

    7. Follow the uninstall directions to complete the uninstall process

    Enjoy!!

    : ))

    1. From an earlier reply: I am not sure what to recommend there. You can try deleting all your temp files – maybe Google “[Your Browser] Delete Temp Files”, you may have to boot into Safe Mode (another Google query) and see if you can find and remove that DLL by force, and you may need to remove it from your registry (which can trash your machine so be careful if you try that).

  7. For anyone still having problems with Play Pickle. I have 3 malware scanners and the only one that would find the Playpickle virus was Spybot. And, only if ran in Safe Mode. I never had the toolbar, but I did get my email spammed. It stops when you get rid of the virus, whether you change your email password or not. I also used Malwarebytes and Emsisoft, which are all good scanners. It is always good to use more than one for just this reason.

  8. My son clicked on it but it said angry birds rio. It showed downloading and when it was done it closed out the entire browser. We couldnt find it in programs nor in the download history. My guy says there is no way it is affecting the computer unless it has some way of running itself once downloaded. I will try an antivirus and comment on here if I have any problems.

  9. Thanks I almost fell for that one! I saw Black Ops 2 on Play Pickle and I saw it said Trusted from 2 antivirus companies but went to check it and found this. Thanks

  10. My son just asked to download this website and I am soooo glad I did my leg work to check it out first. Thanks so much for all the helpful words of advice.
    P.S. Microsoft security essentials is free and the best anti-software out there.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *