A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Alien: Blackout is a science fiction survival horror game for iOS and Android devices. Players are tasked with attempting to lead a group of survivors through a series of tasks while avoiding getting killed by an alien creature stalking in the shadows. There's an intense sense of tension and fear throughout the game, but scenes of brutal violence are few and far between, since the player's main goal is to avoid confrontation whenever possible. The game's based on the popular Alien horror franchise, with a story set between the events of the first two films. Parents should be aware that there's some occasional profanity in the game's dialogue, with "damn" and "s--t" mainly used. Also, the game's a completely self-contained purchase, with a one-time price to pay and no microtransactions.
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What's it about?
ALIEN: BLACKOUT poses one big question to players: What could possibly be worse than being trapped on a malfunctioning space station? How about being trapped on a malfunctioning space station while being stalked by the deadliest creature in the universe? That's the situation for Amanda Ripley and her crew. Stranded in deep space with a bloodthirsty Xenomorph lurking in the shadows, it's up to the player, as Amanda, to remotely direct the rest of the crew to safety via one of the ship's security terminals. With only a limited power supply available, Amanda must use the terminal to access the station's holographic map, surveillance cameras, and motion trackers to stay hidden from the Xenomorph and to protect the crew as they repair the station through seven fear-inducing levels.
Is it any good?
This mobile game manages to bring extraterrestrial terror to your devices with a new installment in a classic franchise that's designed to freak you out and keep you playing. Alien: Blackout brings one of the scariest characters from the film screen to the portable screen. Back in 1979, the first Alien movie taught the world that "In space, no one can hear you scream." Deep space had never been so terrifying, giving birth to decades' worth of sci-fi nightmare fuel, from slimy space eggs to creepy face-huggers to the unmistakable visage of the Xenomorph itself. Now the iconic franchise is chest-bursting its way to mobile devices with Alien: Blackout, a survival horror game that pits players against the deadliest creature in the universe while further expanding on the rich mythology and eerie atmosphere that keeps fans afraid of what may lurk in the shadows.
The biggest surprise in Alien: Blackout is how polished the game is. It looks and plays less like a mobile game and more like a console release. This is even more surprising considering that it's a complete package, with no microtransactions or subscriptions built-in. For less than the price of a movie ticket, gamers get a complete tension-filled horror experience. Gameplay is generally smooth and intuitive, with players (as Amanda) directing survivors around the crippled station while keeping them from crossing the path (and the jaws) of the Xenomorph stalking the shadows. It's not an easy task, though, as corralling those survivors while simultaneously trying to keep track of the Xenomorph's movements can quickly get overwhelming. While this definitely adds a level of anxiety and even occasional frustration, it actually adds more to the experience -- especially those jump scares when the Xenomorph suddenly appears out of nowhere ... and the exhilaration when the survivors escape with their lives.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fear in games. What are some of the ways games use fear to entertain players? Is it scarier to be directly confronted by the source of the fear or to deal with the tension of wondering what lurks around the corner? Why do people enjoy being scared for entertainment?
What are some of the challenges that come with managing teams in a leadership role? How can someone best handle the responsibility of making decisions that affect the lives of others?
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
- Price: 4.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: January 24, 2019
- Category: Adventure Games
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Space and Aliens
- Size: 626.80 MB
- Publisher: D3 Go!
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 8.0 or higher; Android 4.4 and up
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.