App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
KOF'98 UM OL App Poster Image
Retro brawler has simple controls, appealing team gameplay.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.


Fighting is non-stop, but it's non-realistic, cartoony.


Female characters are well-endowed, often wear revealing outfits; some engage in flirty, suggestive dialog.


Mild curse words occasionally in dialogue.


Frequent pushes to purchase items as well as store prompts disguised as "events."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One boss is a "drunken master" who talks about drinking alcohol. Players recruit more fighters in a "bar."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that KOF'98 UM OL (AKA, King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Online) is a free-to-play fighting game based on the King of Fighters series from the 1990s. It consists of martial arts heroes in a vague good-versus-evil struggle that justifies their fighting all the time. Female characters are often depicted as sexy and suggestive (both in look and language). The app is mildly deceptive in the way it pushes connection to Facebook accounts ("for security") and its confusing menu system presents in-game purchases as "events." The app also pushes in-game purchases at the start of each play session. Players can "whisper" to people in their Friends list, and an in-game chat system (unlocked at level 31) exposes players to ongoing (non-Friend) player conversations. The app's privacy policy details the sorts of information collected; you can read the privacy policy can be read in its entirety here.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChris A. September 7, 2017

A fun app to play by yourself and with your friends

I had been struggling to find an app to invest my time into and I couldn't seem to find one. I looked at a couple reviews for various apps and stumbled acr... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

KOF'98 UM OL is about skilled martial arts teams coming together to compete. The app lets you build “decks” of fighters, then take them through a story campaign where they revisit all their old KOF rivals, or pit them against one another in online versus mode. The streamlined fighting system revolves around a simple rhythm mechanic and special/ultimate fighter skills that make combat easy for the least-experienced player. KOF Tournament, Clubs, Arena, and various minigames provide lots of ways to stay busy. 

Is it any good?

Thanks to the move to mobile, this is one of the most accessible fighting games around. While games in the genre usually make you climb a big learning curve, here all you need is a sense of rhythm and a finger to tap the screen. The straightforward turn-based combat almost happens by itself, though knowing when to use your fighters' skills and ultimate attacks certainly makes things easier.

Single player Campaign mode gives you plenty of time to learn the ropes and get acquainted (or reacquainted) with the over-the-top KOF characters. Somewhat sexist depiction of female characters describes some of them as “supporting” male characters; some them also get the big-breasted, skimpy-clothed, suggestive dialog treatment. Other things that perhaps make the app unsuitable for very young children are mild curse words, references to drinking (including a crazy drunken master character) and a gambling-related minigame. Still, cool retro graphics, dynamic combat, and multiple fun game modes are likely to draw kids in. The main down side to the app is its obvious bias toward purchase-making players. Collecting fighters and leveling them up is definitely easier when you spend some money, and that in turn, makes for better wins and faster progression. Aside from that, KOF'98 UM OL is a great introduction to the King of Fighters series and to fighting games in general.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about deceptive advertising practices. How do companies fool you into watching ads or spending money?

  • Discuss adding people to your Friends list. Should you add every player who makes a request?

  • Think about the idea of auto-play. Do you like games that control things for you, or do you prefer controlling things yourself?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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