A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Players get virtually no instructions, which can, at least initially, cause confusion.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent car crashes occur, including some that involve explosions.
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Products & Purchases
Ads are shown frequently.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pako is a racing game for iOS and Android devices. Although no physical injuries are shown, cars regularly crash into each other, and some explode in flames. Ads appear fairly often after you finish a level -- or if you fail to. Players have to wait a few seconds before they can click out of them and continue playing. Some are worded in a way that makes it seem like gamers need to click on a button to initiate the ad, but it's a link to buy the game. Without a tutorial or any written or visual help, players need to figure out how to move their car, where to go, and what their objective is. While the game itself isn't overly complex, the lack of instructions can make playing it somewhat challenging.
Is It Any Good?
Despite being referred to as a car chase game in the app description, this driving-based experience generally involves trying to avoid other vehicles -- which can be a frustrating goal. Players don't get a tutorial or even a brief description of how Pako 3 is played after they download it. The most instruction they'll receive before each level is a banner than says things like "Police & Thieves" and "Survive 20 Seconds." That seems to suggest gamers should avoid police cars -- although hitting them doesn't always cause the game to end -- and there isn't a definitive way to tell which cars are driven by thieves.
The game controls aren't particularly intuitive -- players need to press down on either side of the screen to make the car move left or right. They can probably figure that out through trial and error, but even if they do, the controls are somewhat glitchy, and lags can occur, making consistently getting your car to move in the intended direction difficult. Often, it just spins in circles. Other aspects also aren't explained, such as what elements determine how many coins players get in a round -- they seem to be awarded just for hitting random objects. Ads are shown frequently between rounds, and while they're not quite as long as in some games, confusing wording may make gamers think they need to click on them to speed up the viewing process, but the link takes you to an app store to buy the item. The lack of overall guidance and uneven controls, though, are a bigger issue. Without the ability to navigate through Pako 3's somewhat whimsically chaotic settings, completing levels can seem like such a struggle that players may not get far enough in the game to want to keep playing for long.
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.