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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Attack the Light - Steven Universe Light RPG is a role-playing game featuring the characters from the Cartoon Network animated show Steven Universe. Steven and his fellow Crystal Gems set off on a magical quest to retrieve escaped light creatures and save the world from the havoc they might wreak. Kids play through five levels and use all four characters (Steven, Amethyst, Garnet, and Pearl) to battle enemies in each stage. They'll also collect items ("Loot!" as Steven exclaims) and solve simple puzzles along the way. There is punching, whipping, and exploding, but there are no graphic results, and defeated enemies simply disappear. The positive message embedded in the game is that the characters must work together, and all have something valuable to contribute.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
The premise of ATTACK THE LIGHT - STEVEN UNIVERSE LIGHT RPG is revealed as the game opens and makes the game accessible to kids who don't watch the show: The Crystal Gems are Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven -- three intergalactic warriors plus a little boy whose mom (Rose Quartz, now deceased) was a warrior and whose dad is from Earth. The Crystal Gems protect the earth and have adventures while Steven tries to discover the powers of the gem he inherited from his mother. In the cut scene that starts the game, the Gems hand off the powerful gem weapon to Steven, whose touch accidentally releases light creatures from the crystal. The Gems' mission is simple: Explore the world and capture all the light creatures that escaped. There are five worlds to explore on their quest, and the Gems meet and battle bad guys along the way. Beating the boss (usually a much-larger version of an earlier enemy) adds a colored piece to the pyramid on the main map screen that helps users track progress. Tapping achieves all actions: moving, preparing for battle, and fighting.
Is it any good?
Attack the Light - Steven Universe Light RPG is challenging in all the best ways. Difficulty ramps up as you progress, and enemies get tougher as the player levels up the characters and accumulates more "loot." Kids can advance through levels without completing all challenges, which is nice, and users can revisit past levels at any time to gain more experience or gather more items. There's also great visual style: Steven Universe is notable for its hand-drawn animation, and the game echoes and honors the quirky iconic look of the show. Older kids and parents also may appreciate this game for its sly self-awareness and humor; Steven's excited to set off on an adventure "just like in an RPG," and a few references to "dungeons" and "loot" feels like a classic The Legend of Zelda throwback.
Though the game isn't cloying or preachy about this point, there's a nice message embedded in the way these characters interact. Though Steven can't fight, users will quickly discover that they should use him on every turn in a battle so he can level up the other three characters' harmony and deploy other tools to boost their capabilities. There's a subtle message here that everyone's contribution matters and that you don't have to have the same abilities to be an important member of the team. Though the game is rewarding and fun in its own right, it's nice to have that positive message at its heart.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Steven Universe is a show about a nontraditional family: Steven's mom has died so he spends time with his dad (not featured in the game) and his mother's three friends, who are like his aunts. Talk about how families come in all arrangements and configurations.
Amethyst has a whip, Garnet has boxing gloves, Pearl has a spear, and Steven has his trusty cheeseburger backpack. Talk about how different people can contribute different things in different situations.
Talk about strategies for choosing which attacks and tools to use in each battle. There's simple math involved in each turn in battle, as each character's attack costs a certain number of "stars." Which attacks should you use to maximize the five "stars" you get on each turn? Which combinations of stars could you use on each turn?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: $2.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: April 23, 2015
- Category: Role-Playing Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- Size: 189.00 MB
- Publisher: Cartoon Network
- Version: 1.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Requires Android 2.3.3 and up.
- Last updated: June 23, 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.