Family movie night? There's an app for that
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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Navigating the game is easy, since it's an "on rails" shooter -- meaning it takes care of walking for you. You simply need to aim your weapon. The game also offers four levels of difficulty for a variety of player skillsets.
Violence & Scariness
The point of the game is to shoot mutants -- and dodge their attacks on you. When they're shot, there are bursts of blood -- and when you're hit, the screen darkens with blood. There are a variety of weapons to use, ranging from thrown bricks and knives to a shotgun and pistol.
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Products & Purchases
The main menu has a link to other games by the developer, but it does warn you before you leave the site -- and gives you the chance to change your mind. The game itself is an appetizer for the release of Rage on game consoles and can be looked at as a marketing tool.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rage HD is a violent shooter from id Software, the company behind Doom and Quake. Subtitled "Mutant Bash TV," the game puts players in a sadistic post-apocalyptic game show, working their way through a maze and shooting the flood of mutant creatures that are trying to kill them. Players use standard firearms, while mutants throw rocks and bricks or attack in close quarters with knives or claws. Blood is shown copiously, and it's certainly not a game for younger players. There is a separate but similar version of the game for iphones/ipods called Rage.
Is It Any Good?
Rage HD is definitely not an app for children, but it is, hands down, the best looking app on the iPad (and iPhone -- as a separate version of the same game is also available for other Apple iDevices). Id's graphics engine was built for the current generation of consoles, and the fact it transitions so smoothly to Apple's products is a technological achievement. The game itself is a standard "on rails" shooter -- where the player only has to worry about aiming, not walking. That prevents you from exploring, which is a bit frustrating, but you're so busy trying to stay alive that the point quickly becomes moot. While extraordinarily violent, the game also shows a sense of humor, with the Mutant Bash TV host interjecting comments from time to time. It's not something you want your children to play, but adults who enjoy action games will likely have fun.
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.