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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Respawnables is an action game where the sole point is to kill every other player. The game has a single player mode, but attracts an audience due to its robust online multiplayer option. No personal information is exchanged, but players will face other real humans. There's nonstop violence, but no blood or gore. An occasional curse word appears on screen. And players will be tempted to purchase in-game credits to beef up their arsenal. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
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What's it about?
Players will face off against AI and real human opponents in combat matches. Movement is controlled via a virtual thumbstick on the left side of the screen, with a \"fire\" button at the bottom right. Head movements are done with another virtual thumbstick higher up on the right side. As players dispatch enemies, they'll earn virtual currency (which can be used to buy better weapons) and level up (unlocking the ability to use those weapons). Players can also use the currency to buy customization options for their character.
Is it any good?
While Respawnables isn't exactly unique, Zynga does a pretty good of taking the best elements from shooters like Team Fortress and Battlefield Heroes and bringing them to the mobile world. And the multiplayer mode seems fairly robust, with a notable number of players.
The game's graphics are a bit janky, though. And the big push for in-app purchases is not only off-putting, it also results in a skewed gameplay balance. That said, the game doesn't severely penalize players for dying -- and it's good mindless fun in short bursts.