A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Call of Duty: Strike Team is a mobile game based around the multibillion-dollar console-based Call of Duty franchise. The game is not a port of an older CoD title but rather an original work, created specifically for the mobile player. That said, like its brethren, it's violent and not appropriate for young players. Additionally, there is an in-app purchase component that unskilled, but enthusiastic, players are likely to utilize, which drives the cost of the app higher. Unlike the console versions of the game, there is no multiplayer mode.
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What's it about?
Players can opt to play the game from either a first-person perspective or a top-down view. Although the game encourages both, it's possible to largely use only one of those options, depending on your play preferences. In first-person, players move and look around via thumb gestures on the sides of the screen, choosing options such as stealth from a layout of buttons at the bottom. The controls are fairly standard for an FPS mobile game. Top-down is a useful addition, though, letting players assign where a character should move and directing where they should fire. It's especially useful for tactical decisions and flanking maneuvers. It's a good way to move your team quickly and get a sense of which obstacles lay ahead.
Is it any good?
CALL OF DUTY: STRIKE TEAM has a big legacy to live up to. Call of Duty fans are passionate about their game -- and very particular about any changes made to it. That makes judging this mobile version difficult, since it is in many ways a departure from the series but still has much in common with it. The plot and sense of play -- especially in the first-person perspective -- is straightforward Call of Duty. Although the controls suffer from the same limitations any FPS on a mobile device does (and, to be clear, this is a game that should be played on a tablet, rather than on a phone), the action is well-paced and deftly blends stealth and the chaos of a major firefight. (Missing, though, is the very popular multiplayer mode.) The bird's-eye-view method of playing is something different, though. It turns Strike Team into more of a strategy title, which is an unexpected twist for the franchise. It also adds some flexibility to gameplay, which eases the transition to a new hardware system. Better still, it makes CoD accessible for players who don't enjoy first-person shooters (or who lack the reflexes to do well in them).
The price is a bit high -- and the fact that there are in-app purchases is a bit strange. But the game is generous in rewarding players with the tokens they need to buy new weapons and health kits, which dampens any feeling that this is a cash grab. Overall, Strike Team is a terrific addition to the CoD universe.
For kids who love action
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