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Cyber Hunter

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Cyber Hunter App Poster Image
Realistic, bloody shooter rewards ruthless survivalism.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Controls are somewhat harder on a tablet because of its size; success in battle depends on strategy and reflexes. 

Violence

The idea is to kill everyone else and be the last man (or woman) standing. Characters used ranged weapons on each other; they bleed when hit, and players can shoot defenseless wounded characters execution-style as they crawl along the ground. 

Sex

Some female characters wear revealing outfits. On-screen chat often contains graphic sexual references. 

Language

There's no profanity in the app itself, but unmoderated on-screen chat often contains swearing.

Consumerism

App encourages players to purchase from the moment the app starts, with multiple ads for the in-app store. Often prompts players to "top up" in-app currency. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No substance use in the app itself, but on-screen chat could contain references to drugs, drinking, and smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cyber Hunter is an open-world multiplayer shooter for iOS and Android devices. The combat-focused gameplay actually rewards players for ruthlessly killing each other. It's part of the battle royale genre: The point of the app is to survive a timed match among armed combatants by eliminating rivals; the winner is the last one standing. Players use all manner of ranged weapons -- rifles, shotguns, and submachine guns -- to kill one another, and players can wound someone and then shoot them execution-style as they crawl along the ground. Characters are shown bleeding and dying. Default settings activate mobile device voice chat on (these can be toggled off), so players could be exposed to profanity, sexual references, or harassment, and the lobby also contains unmoderated text chat. The app frequently prompts players to visit the in-app store and tempts them with images of special clothing options and weapon paints. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

CYBER HUNTER is a freemium online shooter of the battle royale genre. In it, players take on the role of either a robot with consciousness or a man with a cybernetic spine, and join a two- to four-player squad from an online lobby. They're then air-dropped onto an island, and once they land, they explore the island, gathering armor, weapons, and medical aids. The idea is to survive as long as they can. As a timer ticks down, the "safe" area of the map steadily shrinks, thus forcing players into closer and closer proximity to each other. Cars, boats, and motorcycles let players traverse the map quickly (players can drive, ride, or fly along with someone else), and the built-in parkour system lets them climb up any vertical surface. (Skill upgrades also let them glide from high places.) A special droid assistant helps players by giving them automatic cover to hide behind and vehicles with which they can ride out of danger. Depending on how long they survive, players are rewarded after each match with experience, in-app currency, and items. 

Is it any good?

This is a good-looking entry in the battle royale arena, with handsome characters (of both genders) and boatloads of vanity items to buy and covet, but its violence may give some gamers pause. Borrowing concepts from other battle royale (BR) games, Cyber Hunter offers the kind of action-packed gameplay competitive gamers have come to expect. Unfortunately, in its bid to fulfill these expectations, it more or less fails to exceed them. Like other BR games, you're air-dropped onto an island with nothing but the clothes on your back, and tasked with equipping and defending yourself. You can choose to stick with your squad or go off on your own (the latter's often better if you want to avoid fighting over supplies); either way, there are around a hundred other players out there literally gunning for you. 

The most obvious difference between this app and its rivals is its parkour system, which can be used to reach high strategic locations. But its effectiveness varies and can result in bizarre things like crawling upside down spider-like on the ceiling, getting stuck on a windowsill, or having limbs that bend the wrong way. In the end, it's more a novelty than a must-have when it comes to survival. What is a must-have is a vehicle, and these are mostly well-executed. Once you get a hang of the controls, you can zoom away from danger at crazy-fun speeds or hitch a ride with a fellow squad member. Weapons are easy to use (especially if you turn on auto-fire), and it's satisfying to sneak up on a fight and take everyone down. Granted, there's not much that separates this app from others like it, and parents are justified in objecting to gameplay. Its emphasis on shooting and rewards for killing people, plus the graphic and often abusive nature of both voice and text chat, means that young kids probably shouldn't play it. Still, Cyber Hunter's 10- to 15-minute matches offer the kind of fast-paced (if predictable) fun action older gamers crave.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Cyber Hunter affected by the fact that you're shooting other players with weapons, and frequently performing brutal execution-style kills? Would the impact be lessened if the attacks weren't so graphic?

  • When is it better to work with others? When is it better to make your own decisions? 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Pricing structure: Free (Contains optional in-app purchases.)
  • Release date: April 26, 2019
  • Category: Action Games
  • Size: 1500.00 MB
  • Publisher: NetEase Games
  • Version: 1.0.18
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up

For kids who love action

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