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Dumb Ways to Die 2: The Games
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dumb Ways to Die 2: The Games is a collection of arcade-like games that showcase death-defying stunts in a comedic manner. The game features cartoonish gruesome deaths as a parable for safety on trains (it was created by an Australian train service). There are a number of ads and some in-app purchase options, but they aren't pushed heavily. Kids are likely to ignore the message and focus on the goofy fun, though.
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What's it about?
Players compete in a wide variety of "sports," ranging from the dynamite relay race to javelin catching, hoping to avoid death. After you die three times, the game is over. The game has several themed locations -- including winter, water, and track -- and the games are usually controlled via tapping or rubbing the screen (for example, tapping to jump over sharks or rubbing to brush a killer whale's teeth). Occasionally, players will receive train safety tips in the form of games, such as clearing the doors or staying off the track.
Is it any good?
DUMB WAYS TO DIE 2: THE GAMES is one of those apps that seems mindless on the surface but is actually trying to teach a lesson. The goofy, instantly forgettable (but fun) games are the draw, but the app's ultimate goal is that people will learn to be safer around commuter trains. It's a good lesson, but with so many ridiculous mini-games to play, it can get lost in the shuffle.
The games themselves? They're best described as short-term time-wasters: not too challenging, until they ramp up the speed to a point where they're virtually impossible. Neither the games nor their message will stick with you mentally, but you'll have a good time as you play.