Mix+Smash: Marvel Super Hero Mashers

App review by
Lisa Caplan, Common Sense Media
Mix+Smash: Marvel Super Hero Mashers App Poster Image
Combine parts into hero; prepare for punches, purchases.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's 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

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."

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Heavy push toward in-app purchases, and some content is unlocked with the purchase of real toys.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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. 

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What's it about?

MIX+SMASH: MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS is based on a line of action figures that allow kids to mix and match body parts to create unique superheroes. To save the planet, kids have to mash up different heroes in the "Mix Lab" to create one who can defeat supervillains and save the day. Heroes and villains meet for one-on-one combat using kicks, punches, and special abilities that kids control through tapping. Only the first two characters -- the Hulk and Groot -- are included with the free game. To unlock Ironman, Captain America, and Spiderman, you have to pay real money. You also can buy Marvel Super Hero Mashers toys and have them join the fray. The game is interrupted to show comic book pages and short animations, along with lots of pop-ups urging kids to buy additional characters.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why superheroes are such a big part of our culture. Why do characters such as Spiderman and Superman stay popular generation after generation?

  • Set expectations for in-app purchases before downloading.

  • Talk about why solving problems with enemies by fighting is OK in a cartoon but not in reality.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • Pricing structure: Free (The game is free to download and play, but there is a strong push to buy Marvel superhero characters for real money throughout the game.)
  • Release date: August 12, 2015
  • Category: Action Games
  • Topics: Superheroes, Robots
  • Size: 135.00 MB
  • Publisher: Disney
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love superheroes and action games

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