Afterpulse

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Afterpulse App Poster Image
Awkward, violent shooter with bad controls, limited play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Controls are annoyingly awkward. 

Violence

Main focus of game is using guns, explosives to kill other people. No blood, gore.

Sex
Language

Usernames are moderated, can't include curse words. No profanity in dialogue.

Consumerism

Players use real-world money to buy in-game currency, which is then used to buy new weapons, gear, grenades, crates that have a mix of guns, gear.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Afterpulse is a violent, third-person shooter that's not for kids. Players use a variety of guns and grenades to kill enemy soldiers, though there's no blood or gore, save for a reddish hue on the edge of the screen when a player is badly injured. There also are no other kinds of inappropriate content. Players can spend real-world money to buy in-game currency, which can then be used to buy new guns, armor, and grenades, crates that have a random selection of guns, armor, and grenades, and upgrades to your weapons. Read the app's privacy policy in the "Info" section of the game's options menu or on the game's website to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

While AFTERPULSE does have a single-player mode, it doesn't have a story. Instead, its single-player is more like training, acting as a series of battles in small arenas against computer-controlled enemies. The main focus of this game is playing online, against other people, but you're prevented from multiplayer matches until you've reached Level 7 and completed the lengthy training mode. Players also can decide to remain in the solo mode if they choose.

Is it any good?

Thanks to awkward controls, this is yet another failure at bringing Call of Duty-style shooting action to tablets. In Afterpulse, you engage in a series of online shooting matches against other people, using modern-day weapons and equipment. The game features a good variety of guns and places to unload them, as well as a multifaceted way of upgrading them. It even distinguishes itself from such similar shooters as those in the Call of Duty and Battlefield series by switching the perspective from first to third. Unfortunately, this doesn't help the game overcome its biggest obstacle: awkward controls. By having the area of the screen that controls the camera be right next to the trigger spot, you often shoot when you want to look or look when you want to shoot. Even worse, the camera controls are rather loose, even when adjusted, so you don't just shoot when you want to look, you shoot the ground or the sky when you want to look where you're going. Granted, it does have other control options, but they don't work any better. All of this makes it infuriating when you get shot up by someone who's managed to master these controls and you know you could've taken them down if they were more intuitive. The only saving grace is that your health regenerates quickly and your ammo is unlimited. But even if you do master this game, it only has three rather basic modes online. Had it been playable on a console or PC, Afterpulse would have been a low-rent shooter; on tables, it's a frustrating afterthought.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Does it make you feel differently about the violence here that your enemies in this game are people as opposed to aliens, robots, or monsters?

  • Talk about perspective. Does it change things because you're standing behind your character, as opposed to seeing things through his eyes? Does this make it seem less real?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: May 12, 2017
  • Category: Action Games
  • Size: 971.00 MB
  • Publisher: GAMEVIL USA Inc.
  • Version: 1.7.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android varies with device

For kids who love action

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