A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Disney Heroes: Battle Mode is an action/role-playing game available for download on iOS and Android devices. Players collect characters from the Disney universe and create teams to fight against enemy creatures and "corrupted" heroes with a variety of cartoonish attacks. Combat is the main focus of the app, but no blood or gore is shown; enemies disappear when they're defeated. The game is free to play but heavily pushes players to spend actual money in order to unlock special features, benefits, and bonuses. Although it has built-in chat filters, you'll likely want to monitor the in-game chat rooms for potential toxic/offensive behavior from other players.
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What's it about?
When Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz decide to pop in for a visit in DISNEY HEROES: BATTLE MODE, they quickly discover that all isn't quite right. The virtual city is rampant with corrupt code, taking over the minds of many Disney characters and unleashing an army of minions to corrupt those who've so far escaped infection. Now it's up to you to help free the heroes from the corruption, teaming up to discover the source of the rogue programming and drive back the threat once and for all. Collect characters from popular Disney and Pixar movies, and customize your team with unique gear and abilities before diving into the game's story-based campaign, challenging trials, and online arenas. Do you have what it takes to save the city and become a Disney Hero?
Is it any good?
This action role-playing game tries to mash up characters from many different franchises, but its heavy reliance on paying for progress keeps it from being the happiest game on Earth. Disney Heroes: Battle Mode brings together characters from modern Disney and Pixar flicks and gives players the chance to create their own epic crossover dream teams for some beat-'em-up action. The game has that signature Disney personality all over it. The art style keeps characters faithful to their source while tweaking things just enough to look like they all belong in the same universe. And the campaign, while a little cheesy and predictable, features a story that seamlessly brings together all of these personalities in a believable, fun way.
The problem with Disney Heroes: Battle Mode is that, as entertaining as the concept may seem, it falls flat. For starters, players don't really have much to do when it comes to battles. After choosing your team and starting the fight, the characters are on their own. The only thing players do is tap on a portrait to activate a special move when it's charged up, and even that can be bypassed with the autoplay option. Your only responsibility is to level up the characters you've got. Worse still, despite being free to play, the game isn't subtle about pressuring you to spend a lot of money. In fact, some features of the game are exclusive to VIP members of specific levels. And the only way to raise your VIP level is to spend even more money. It's not quite a "pay to win" situation, but if you're not willing to shell out some cash, you're left with an incomplete, hobbled experience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Does it have less of an impact if the characters are familiar? How can art style affect the impact of in-game violence?
How do developers/publishers try to get players to spend money in games? What are ways to budget and to control spending so it doesn't get out of hand?
Disney Heroes: Battle Mode uses many well-known characters in its gameplay. Does this let them expand on the stories of these franchises, or do you think the app is using these characters to get money from users?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, Android
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: May 17, 2018
- Category: Action Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures
- Size: 449.40 MB
- Publisher: PerBlue Entertainment Inc.
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 10.0 or higher; Android 4.0.3 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.