A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Winning fights is mostly a matter of quick and sometimes rhythmic tapping. Younger kids may have trouble determining which body parts from which heroes will be most effective.
Violence & Scariness
This is a fighting game. Aside from mixing and matching body parts, all the action centers on having your superhero hybrid win a hand-to-hand fight with a cartoon villain. But there's nothing gory or bloody. Damage is depicted by falls, facial expressions, and captions that say, for example, "POW" and "BAM."
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Products & Purchases
Heavy push toward in-app purchases, and some content is unlocked with the purchase of real toys.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mix+Smash: Marvel Super Hero Mashers is a fighting game based on the Marvel Comics toy action figures. The game is intended for players age 6 to 8, but some parents may be uncomfortable with the cartoon violence that makes up the bulk of the game. The free game comes with two heroes; the other characters have to be purchased with real money in-app. Also, because a key element of the game is mixing and matching heroes' body parts, kids are likely to want those extra characters. There also are short animated scenes with cartoon violence similar to that in the main game.
Is It Any Good?
Though the game is in many ways a push to get kids (and parents) to invest in toys, the app is polished and fun. The graphics are fantastic, and mixing and matching heroes' parts is good silly fun at the same time it teaches kids a bit about strategy. The controls are mostly intuitive and respond well on touchscreens, although there are times where it’s not entirely clear what players are supposed to do. Three difficult levels add replay value, and unlocking additional worlds often requires earning more points through replaying levels. However, without an investment in either the characters that are unlocked in-app or the physical toys, not only do the mash-ups get boring quickly, but players also are penalized if a creation doesn’t have the "right" head for each chapter. In other words, if players don't purchase Iron Man, they'll fare poorly on the levels in the chapter where he's the star. Mix+Smash: Marvel Super Hero Mashers is a fun, fast, smash-‘em-all amusement that offers players willing to invest real money a lot of benign brawl for the buck.
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.