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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What 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.
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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.