Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story
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Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story is a downloadable rhythm-based running game for Switch and Windows PCs. Players take control of Ziggs, a furry little mammalian creature made popular in League of Legends, on a mission to cause mayhem in the tech-savvy town of Piltover. Ziggs perpetually runs to the right, and players must tap buttons to make him dodge obstacles, hop on robot guards, and throw cartoonish bombs to blow stuff up and discover collectibles. There's no blood or gore, just lots of explosions. The action is set to music with players cued to tap buttons to perform actions to the beat, but they can also experiment by tapping buttons outside of cues, which encourages a bit a freeform beat-making. Parents should note that this spin-off of the hugely popular MOBA game could lead some kids to want to explore this universe more deeply.
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What’s It About?
HEXTECH MAYHEM: A LEAGUE OF LEGENDS STORY combines side-scrolling action with button-tapping rhythm. It's set in Piltover -- a technology-driven town within the League of Legends universe -- and stars Ziggs, a little mammalian fellow who's a fan-favorite among League of Legends players. He automatically runs to the right in a series of short, two-dimensional levels. The player's goal is to tap three buttons according to on-screen cues and in rhythm with the soundtrack to make Ziggs leap up, come pounding down, or toss a short-fused bomb. Tap at just the right time and you'll be able to make him avoid walls, gather trickily positioned collectibles, and blow up robotic guards patrolling the city. Miss a cue and he may run into an obstacle, forcing the player to recover by hitting specific beats to get back in the rhythm. But it's not just about blindly following cues. Each level contains lots of hidden objects and secret collectibles that you can aim for by guessing when to hit the right button. This requires both a sharp eye to detect clues in the environment, as well as a good feel for the music, since finding these hidden elements still requires players to follow the beat with their button taps. New levels are unlocked not just by completing the previous one, but also by meeting certain targets -- such as grabbing enough collectibles along the way -- which forces players to replay previous levels with an aim to improve their score.
Is It Any Good?
The good news is that you don't need to be an existing League of Legends fan to enjoy this game. Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story is so low on actual story that you need to know nothing of existing lore to understand what's going on. The even better news is that this is a legitimately original kind of rhythm action game. Players are encouraged to experiment with their beat-driven inputs rather than just blindly follow the presented cues, which adds a layer of complexity and unexpectedness absent in similar games. It makes you feel like you're part of the music and at times even adding to the arrangement. And the melodies are simple but infectious. Some players are sure to have them stuck in their heads outside the game.
The bad news is that this won't be an immediately welcoming game for all players. Despite the simple interface, it takes a bit of time and practice to be able to both hit obvious cues and spot the visual clues that hint at when you might want to improvise. And since unlocking new levels requires a certain level of performance in previous levels, progression means playing and replaying older levels over and over again simply to do better. If you're really into the music and action, that's probably going to feel more like a reward than a punishment. But if you just want to keep sailing forward, it can become a bit frustrating. Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story isn't just a spinoff for League of Legends fans, but it does demand a keen ear, a sharp eye, and a certain amount of perseverance.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about marketing to kids. Hextech Mayhem is designed to introduce League of Legends to a broader audience, potentially bringing more players into the franchise's fold, but do you feel like you can recognize when companies use marketing tactics like this? Does it make you feel manipulated?
Do you enjoy music games? Have any of the rhythm games you've played made you want to experiment with a real instrument or learn how to make music on your computer?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Riot Games
- Release date: November 16, 2021
- Genre: Music & Dance
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along, Robots
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
- Last updated: November 30, 2021
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