Mission: G-Rok

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Mission: G-Rok App Poster Image
Well-meaning but forgettable environmental platform game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

The mechanics of the game will be familiar to most players, and while the tutorials are skimpy, it's easy to catch on. 

Violence

Players will bounce off enemies and can fall off edges to their deaths, but no violence is shown. 

Sex
Language

The opening film describes characters as "badass-able." 

Consumerism

Players earn in-game coins and "Rokbucks" to unlock powers and other players. These also can be purchased for real-world amounts of $1 to $20. The app was cocreated by Russell Simmons, cofounder of the Def Jam record label, who uses it to get exposure for up-and-coming artists. Players can buy in-game songs for $1 each. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mission: G-Rok is a platform-style arcade game in which players battle environmental bad guys by riding skateboards. There's no notable violence or any sexual content to worry about, but there is a touch of strong language in the intro movie ("badass-able"), and the game moderately pushes in-app purchases. Kids also will be exposed to music from up-and-coming Def Jam artists as they play. And although we didn't hear anything objectionable in the lyrics, that could potentially change as additional levels are added. The parental gate to access social media functions is a simple multiplication problem, so it would be easy for kids to breach.

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What's it about?

Although there's a well-meaning plot about saving the environment, MISSION: G-ROK really pays little attention to that. Kids -- and two humanoid creatures -- are pitted against Smogorex and his gang of environmental bad guys. As G-Rok, you ride your skateboard, gathering coins and collectable items and jumping from one area to another by touching the screen. Along the way, you save your fellow teammates and earn power-ups. Extra skills -- such as flips -- and extra weapons, such as a zap gun, are accessed with additional screen taps. If you fall off the edge, a "Save Me" button appears, and you can continue the game.

Is it any good?

The plot of Mission: G-Rok -- defeating environmentally unfriendly bad guys by riding your skateboard and occasionally bouncing off them -- doesn't make much sense, but that's not really the point. This is a straightforward platform game that looks to Sonic and Rayman for inspiration. And it doesn't live up to either of those role models. 

It's not a bad platformer, per se, but it's very generic. What makes the game worthy of note is its inclusion of local artists as background music as players traverse the country on different levels. Of course, this creates a commercial opportunity for the developer (Russell Simmons, cofounder of the Def Jam record label), but it's a good way for kids to hear new music as well. Ultimately, though, it's an app that isn't likely to hold most players' attention for a long period.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of taking care of the earth: What kinds of pollution does the game feature? What are actions we can take in real life to stop pollution?

  • Discuss how this game is different from other "save the world" games: Who are the heroes? Who's the villain?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • Pricing structure: Free (In-app purchases range from $1 to $20.)
  • Release date: May 13, 2014
  • Category: Kids' Games
  • Topics: Adventures
  • Size: 130.00 MB
  • Publisher: DBA Silk City
  • Version: 1.3.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later

Themes & Topics

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