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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about perseverance and using logic. They're responsible for figuring out what to do without much help, which requires initiative. While no direct historical references are made, the game also provides a look at an authoritarian rule. Overall, the educational experience kids get out of the game will really echo what they put into it -- and the biggest lessons will probably occur when kids fail at tasks because they can repeat them until they get them right. If kids choose to continue playing, it may help them build strategy, problem-solving, and other skills.
Players need to utilize logic and may need to be persistent to advance.
Ease of Play
Occasional hints to perform actions such as pulling a lever are visible in some areas. Players can also choose between a normal and easy difficulty level, but gameplay can get confusing because they aren't given much ongoing instruction.
Violence & Scariness
The protagonist can die. The game also shows some blood and gore, such as the main character collapsing and bleeding when shot.
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Products & Purchases
The full version of the app costs $6.99. It also acts as a teaser for the game on the Nintendo Switch and Windows PCs.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
At least one character is seen smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Ministry of Broadcast is an adventure game for iOS devices. The game essentially serves as a teaser for a larger paid version of the game, which is also available via Nintendo Switch and Steam. Aside from occasional instructions, players don't receive much of an overview or significant direction on how to play the game, which may leave them confused at times. The main character can easily die, and although you can play the round again with no penalty, some gore's shown when that happens. The free version of the game provides a fair amount of activity, but to unlock the full version of the app, players will need to pay $6.99.
Is It Any Good?
There are a lot of plot points and hazy goals to unpack in this military state-themed challenge game, but the controls are one of the biggest hurdles to its play. The set-up of Ministry of Broadcast seems reminiscent of the wall that sprung up between East and West Germany in 1961. A structure has been put in place by a strict regime, which has separated the main character from his family, and his goal is to get back to them by winning a televised competition, which will earn him passage over the wall. Moving through snowy scenes, bunkers, and other settings, mostly without shoes -- the protagonist's are lost early on, and a suitable replacement pair proves hard to find -- players must ascend over platforms and other items to progress. It's not always clear where you're going or what you're trying to do, since you're placed in scenes without instructions about which direction to head or what to look for. You also don't get a lot of help if you're get stuck -- challenges may contain a slight clue, such as a sign in the background saying to pull an orange switch, but otherwise, you're essentially on your own to figure out how to advance.
That's harder than it sounds because the controls aren't as sensitive as they need to be for many actions. Too often, the character will jump when you try to make him walk, and you have little control over his speed. Given the amount of items you need to crawl over, climb, or get around, that gets frustrating fast. The graphics can also make it hard to determine whether something can be jumped on or scaled. That said, other elements, such as the gently falling snow and barking dog sound effects, are impressive. While the free version of the app is a preview of the full version, which costs $6.99 to access, you get more than just a glimpse at the game. If you can overlook the controls and the cost, Ministry of Broadcast could provide more than enough of a challenge to invest a fair amount of time in the tale.
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.