A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mortal Kombat is the mobile entry of the popular ultra-violent fighting game franchise available on iOS and Android devices. Players collect different fighters and create teams of three to fight against opponents using a variety of hand-to-hand martial arts, melee weapons, and even guns and magical abilities. Keeping with the franchise's signature style, the combat is brutal and bloody, with no shortage of gore shown on-screen. Some characters and their variants' outfits, particularly the female characters, are portrayed in a more sexualized manner and in revealing costumes. Some characters and their variants also appear smoking cigars, drinking, etc. Parents should also be aware that Mortal Kombat heavily pushes players to spend real-world money for exclusive characters, equipment, and the like to help progress further in the game.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
The fate of all Earthrealm and Outworld literally lies in your hands, as the MORTAL KOMBAT tournament takes shape on mobile devices. Players can recruit the greatest warriors from across all the realms and throughout the Mortal Kombat timeline, and then assemble a team of Kombatants and test their might in epic 3v3 battles. You'll face the challenge of Outworld's towers and stake your claim as champion in single-player mode, or pick a side and take the fight online to prove your team's mettle against others in Faction Wars multiplayer matches. It's all the bone-crushing brutality fans have come to expect from Mortal Kombat in a portable package of destruction, leaving just one question to be answered: "Who's next?"
Is it any good?
While this classic fighting franchise has made its way to mobile devices, it doesn't pack nearly as much of a punch as the console or computer versions. It was way back in 1992 that gamers first heard the infamous battle cry "FINISH HIM!" -- but since then, the Mortal Kombat franchise has dished out its own brutally bloody brand of combat, changing the landscape of the fighting game genre forever. Timed with the 2015 release of Mortal Kombat X on consoles, the deadly martial arts tournament finally made its way to iOS and Android devices. Now, the app has been tweaked and updated to coincide with the release of Mortal Kombat 11, including the addition of a Netherrealm map, the addition of new characters and new versions of existing characters, and a game engine upgrade from Unreal Engine 3 to Unreal Engine 4, bringing sharper details and more fluid animation to the Mortal Kombat tournament.
Although the game's been expanded and its presentation improved, underneath it all, the gameplay is fundamentally the same as it's always been. Unfortunately, that also means the gameplay is feeling more than a bit outdated. Combat is just a matter of tapping the screen to attack and holding two fingers down to block. More recent mobile fighting games, including those developed by NetherRealm, have evolved into more robust outings and seem to have left Mortal Kombat behind. The basic gameplay isn't helped by the fact that progress is a slow and repetitive grind. Earning decent rewards through gameplay feels like it takes forever. And while spending real-world money on any of the game's multiple microtransactions is an alternate option, even that never feels like it adds anything substantial to the gameplay. Mortal Kombat's mobile outing might not have been dealt a Fatality, but it's a far cry from a Flawless Victory.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Mortal Kombat affected by how the violence in the series has changed over the years since the release of the original Mortal Kombat? What sort of impact can scenes of graphic violence have on younger gamers?
How much do free-to-play games rely on microtransactions? Would you rather pay a higher price out of the gate for a game without any (or at least without as many) microtransactions? How much do you think is too much to spend on additional content?
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: May 1, 2019
- Category: Action Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots
- Size: 1100.00 MB
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment
- Version: 2.1.0
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 10.0 or higher; Android 4.4 and up
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.