A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Players pilot various mechs in combat and are never seen outside of them. The only other place the players' presence is indicated from their choice in profile picture representing them online.
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Ease of Play
Basic controls are simple enough to pick up and play. Depending on the mech being used and its associated weapon loadout, movement can feel slow and sluggish while reloading can seem to take an eternity.
Violence & Scariness
Players team up to battle opposing teams for control of the battlefield. The mechs they pilot can be equipped with a wide range of weapons and abilities. Onscreen damage is represented by damage amounts, sparks, and occasional explosions, but there's never any graphic depictions of violence shown onscreen.
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Online chat features could expose players to some offensive conversations and language from others.
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Products & Purchases
The game's heavy handed when it comes to microtransactions. Players not only pay in-game currency to unlock new mechs and weapons, but they also pay to upgrade and even to equip these items. In-game currency can be very slowly through gameplay or by making purchases with real money via the in-game store.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mech Arena is a sci-fi themed, competitive, third-person shooter, available for download on Android and iOS mobile devices. Players pilot futuristic mechs and battle online in 5v5 or 2v2 matches that take place in compact arenas. The game's relatively easy to pick up and play, though the nuances of certain mechs and weapons can make gameplay more complicated. Combat is key to winning, though there's never any blood or graphic violence shown onscreen. The game's free-to-play and relies heavily on in-game purchases, charging players either in-game currency or real money to not only add weapons and mechs to their arsenal, but to simply equip and use these items after purchase.
Is It Any Good?
Mobile shooters have come a long way, with some even managing to do a good job of co-existing with their console brethren. On the surface, Mech Arena has the pieces to be a pretty good competitive shooter for mobile devices. The controls are accessible, the graphics run smooth, and there's plenty of content packed into its compact package. Unfortunately, once you dig a bit deeper, this futuristic robot battler seems more like its one step away from the scrapheap.
While the controls for the game are accessible and easy to use, the Mechs themselves often feel sluggish and clunky. Even the smaller and supposedly more agile Mechs move with all the grace of a car with four flat tires. Of course, since this is an issue across the board, at least everyone starts on an even playing field. Then again, the game's ridiculously expensive economy quickly turns things from a fair fight to a pay to win scenario. Players not only have to pay for new Mechs, weapons, and other upgrades, but once purchased, they have to pay in-game currency again just to equip what they have. And once players get past the beginning stages of the game, the price to improve takes a steep climb, while the currency earned through gameplay feels like a slow trickle. The game quickly becomes frustrating once players start finding themselves constantly outgunned and outmatched simply because they didn't have a big enough wallet to compete.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.