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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that PlayerUnknown's Battleground (PUBG) Mobile is the mobile version of the popular PC/console battle royale-style shooter game, optimized for iOS and Android devices. Up to 100 players compete in a last-man-standing, kill-or-be-killed fight for survival. Violence is core to the game; players are pitted against each other, armed with a variety of realistic weapons such as rifles, machine guns, and crowbars (which are all scattered around the map). While the controls are relatively easy to pick up, the game's difficulty lies in trying to survive while scavenging items from the map to use in battle. Although there isn't any swearing in the scripted dialogue, the in-game chat is frequently filled with obscenities and offensive conversations from other players (you can turn this off in the settings).
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What's it about?
PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUND (PUBG) MOBILE takes the popular winner-take-all, kill-or-be-killed battle royale game -- in which your main goal is simply to outlast the competition -- and shrinks it down for portable play. After parachuting onto an isolated island, you'll need to tap into your survival skills and scavenge weapons, tools, and equipment from the area, all while staying one step ahead of the competition. You'll play the role of both the hunter and the hunted, with up to 99 other players searching for the right way to take you out of the equation permanently. And it's not just the other competitors you'll have to contend with: The border of the play area sporadically shrinks, forcing players to hightail it to a new section of the map or to get trapped out of bounds and die. With a gun in your hand and a target on your back, will you fall quickly in a hail of bullets? Or will you be the last player standing?
Is it any good?
This mobile version of the popular PC/console game keeps the fast-paced action while improving on the gameplay. PUBG is one of those games that's hard to put down: The console version was like an action movie with a nonsensical plot and lots of gunfire. Now, take that experience, streamline it for mobile devices, and you've got PlayerUnknown's Battleground (PUBG) Mobile. Its biggest surprise isn't just how well the game works on portable devices but how, in some ways, it actually improves on the original. The default setup feels more natural than expected. It accounts for left- or right-handed players, gives quick access to secondary equipment (grenades, bandages, etc.), and lets players quickly swap between things like firing mode, aiming, and sprinting. Players automatically pick up and equip certain items, saving a lot of time and frustration that comes with trying to navigate inventory menus on the fly. That said, players do still have to dive into their backpacks to equip weapon accessories like scopes or extended magazines.
And as good as PlayerUnknown's Battleground (PUBG) Mobile may be, it's still not perfect. While the controls are versatile, they can be cramped when playing on a smaller phone screen. You may find yourself accidentally firing your weapon while adjusting your player's pose (kneeling or going prone), unintentionally giving away your position. And while the game has an aim assist, adjusting automatically if you're "close enough" to hitting your target, it's still hard to spot other players from a distance. There's also the difficulty curve, which starts small while you're at lower levels before climbing steeply without warning. That's not to say that it stops being fun; it just gets really hard really quickly when you're thrown into games with really good players. And finally, the game can be a hefty drain on your mobile device's data and battery; a single match can easily take 20 to 30 minutes or more, and you need to be connected the whole time. Despite these hiccups, PlayerUnknown's Battleground (PUBG) Mobile is a fantastic port of the popular shooter, and it hardly skips a step when compared to the original.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. What are some of the ways that violence in games like PlayerUnknown's Battleground can impact real-life behavior? Does it make a difference when the violence is against real-life competitors?
Talk about toxic behavior online. What are some examples of toxic behavior kids may face online? What are some good ways to deal with that behavior? If you're looking for additional advice on helping your kids be a considerate gamer online, check out our advice on raising a good human in a digital world.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: March 19, 2018
- Category: Action Games
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- Size: 903.10 MB
- Publisher: Tencent Games
- Version: 0.3.3
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9 or higher; Android 4.3 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.