As in other battle royale games, players are expected to outlast their fellow players, but there's nothing new to experience in this game -- unless you count being pestered to buy things. Once Garena Free Fire starts, you (and up to three of your friends) take on strangers, doing your best to equip and position yourself to win. Success depends as much on avoidance as it does on confrontation, since going in guns blazing is a sure way to die early. But you also have the timer countdown and shrinking safe area to keep things from getting static, making players more desperate and things more dangerous. (Occasional lag makes things particularly dangerous.) Fortunately, the app's controls are simple and well designed, which makes running, shooting, driving, and item usage easy. It (almost) makes up for the overall ugliness of the game, with its terrain and buildings being covered by low-resolution textures in gray and beige. Still, if you can ignore the lack of style, there's some excitement to be had, and something undeniably satisfying about being the last player standing.
That said, this isn't a game for younger players. Violence isn't presented in any kind of fantasy wrapper here; it realistically shows humans being shot, bleeding, and dying in the context of an arena sport. Moreover, the app really pushes the purchases. From the second you log in, you're hit with a barrage of ads for various in-app items, so the temptation to spend money on vanity items like clothing, hairstyles, pets, characters, and emotes is huge. (The app even goes so far as to call some purchases gameplay "missions.") If that's not enough to set parents on edge, the app's friend system lets strangers interact and message each other directly. As a result, Garena Free Fire isn't worth the download for players committed to other battle royale games. If you're new to this type of game, though, and over the age of 18, and fine with realistic attacks on humans for sport, it's not a bad intro to the genre.