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Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem App Poster Image
Wacky cartoon hijinks are fun but heavy with paywall issues.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Basic gameplay is simple and straightforward, with players choosing attacks and targets. But there's a surprising amount of strategy involved, including sorting out character teamwork and how the different friendships and rivalries affect battles.

Violence

This is pure Looney Tunes slapstick at its finest. There's extreme violence, such as dropping safes, shooting pistols, and shotguns, running folks over with cars, etc. The violence is cartoonish and silly in nature, with stunned characters seeing stars and defeated characters simply fading away.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

The game is based on the popular Looney Tunes cartoons and its characters, as well as their variants, are all pulled from the vast Warner Bros. library. There's also a lot of microtransactions and advertisements, including pushing an option for players to sign up for other services, games, etc. to earn extra premium in-game currency for "free."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem is a mobile action game with light role-playing elements available for download on iOS and Android devices. The game brings together the zany stars of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons for turn-based team battles. There's a fairly steady stream of violence, though it's the over-the-top and unrealistic style cartoon violence that's long been a staple of the franchise. There's never any sort of blood or even injury, outside of spinning stars. The game does rely heavily on microtransactions and partnerships, which push players to either spend real money on in-game currency or to earn the gems by signing up for trials, demos, etc. of other apps or services. 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?

All the slapstick hijinks and mischief of the timeless Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes cartoons comes to mobile devices in LOONEY TUNES: WORLD OF MAYHEM. After one of Marvin the Martian's harebrained schemes to take over the world gets interrupted by a certain wascally wabbit, the resultant earth shattering kaboom wrecks the world and fractures reality, scattering multiple versions of the Looney Tunes to the four winds. Now it's up to you to recruit your favorite Looney Tunes characters in some of their more memorable roles, such as Valkyrie Bugs, Duck Dodgers, and Sheriff Porky, then build a team to take on other toons in over-the-top turn-based battles, complete with falling safes, giant mallets, and even the occasional Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. You'll collect resources to level up your characters and teach them new tricks to keep up their sleeves, steal valuable Acme shipments from other players' teams, and defend your own crates from being purloined. You'll also build your own Looney Tunes town and show the world that whether it's duck season or rabbit season, a good laugh is always in season.

Is it any good?

Say what your will about modern weapons -- sometimes there's nothing more satisfying than a good ol' fashioned safe falling out of the sky, hitting someone and leaving them seeing stars. At least, that the idea behind Looney Tunes: Worlds of Mayhem. The action RPG (role-playing game) does an amazing job of bringing all the slapstick humor of the classic Looney Tunes cartoons and adapting them into a zany mobile experience that's almost as much fun to watch as it is to play. The fighting, and especially the special moves, look like they could be scenes pulled straight from a modern remake of Merrie Melodies. It's silly fun, but with some light strategic elements too. The key to winning battles, both in the campaign an in the player versus Player battles, is paying attention to how the teams work together. Aside from class roles like support, fighter, etc., characters have specific relationships with one another, which can give them bonuses when teamed with or fighting against other toons.

As much fun as World of Mayhem is though, the game does stumble somewhat into the pitfalls of certain free-to-play games. While it's easy to breeze through the initial stages and learn the ropes, once this initial grace period is over, things like energy and resources become extreme scarce. This is where the game pushes hard to either spend money for in-game boosts or using one of the game's partnership offers to earn "free" gems. Of course nothing in life is really free, and these offers usually require installing other unrelated apps, placing online orders, or signing up for subscription-based services. Naturally, you can skip these options and simply wait for things to recharge. Just be ready to wait a while and only play for a few minutes at a time. Still, if you're willing to take some time and have the patience, Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem is an wacky bit of animated action that's a blast to play.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence and comedy in entertainment. How does the violence in cartoons differ from other, more realistic portrayals of violence in media? What is the comedic appeal of the slapstick violence that's a staple of classic cartoons?

  • What are some of the pitfalls for players in the free-to-play game model? What are some of the risks involved with the partnership deals that require sign up or download of other products?

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