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Spaceteam

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Spaceteam App Poster Image
Rowdy multiplayer game is out of this world but stressful.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice communicating and work together in stressful situations. 

Ease of Play

There's no tutorial and some of the features (flipping for an asteroid, repairing panels, clearing slime) aren't clear from the beginning. 

Violence

Things get intense as the ship starts to fall apart. Some kids may find this overly stressful.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchase without parent gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Spaceteam is a free cooperative game for two to eight players that requires a separate device (phone/tablet, Android/iOS) for each player. It works best when everyone is on the same WiFi connection and in the same room. Kids will need to be confident readers as there are a number of made-up words that need to quickly be read aloud/recognized on screen. It also tends to get loud, so it's best played where it won't disturb others. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

SPACETEAM sends you and up to seven friends into space aboard a spaceship. Your duty is to follow the instructions to pilot the craft and keep it from danger. Each player joins the game on their device (a combination of different phones/tablets/platforms is fine) and then enter the game together. The easiest mode is WiFi, but players can start a private game using Bluetooth (must be on the same platform) or using the Bunch app to video chat from afar. Once the game launches, each player has a control panel with a variety of labeled toggle switches, buttons, dials, and selector switches. They will also receive a timed instruction, such as "Unbind Vaportool" or "Set Technovortext to 2." Sound like gibberish? It is. But the commands correspond to the buttons and dials on one of the control panels. Sometimes a player will receive an instruction for their own panel, but usually it will fall on someone else's panel. The result is that players are all asking (or, more typically, shouting) for the command to be completed. If the proper action is taken, the command will disappear and a new one will be given. If not, players will start to see damage to their controls by way of oozing slime, smoke, and falling panels. Some of these can be fixed if the player has time. The instructions come in rounds, so the goal is to survive each round. At the beginning of a new round, players are given a new control panel, but there may also be "anomalies." This could mean that the pieces of the control panel are moving around, or the words are replaced by symbols, or something else crazy is going on. If you're not yet feeling anxious, that's good, because you also have to be aware of asteroids and wormholes that require the entire team to shake or flip their devices. There are in-app purchases for upgrades such as new modes, challenges, spacesuits, etc., and the content that impacts gameplay will be active as long as one player has purchased them.

Is it any good?

This is the perfect game to pass a bit of time with some close friends who don't mind you yelling at them -- in the name of fun. Spaceteam is one of those games that people either love or hate, and it has everything to do with your personality. Some people dislike the chaos and noise, while others think it's a blast. One of the best things about it is that it's a game you can play with friends, on the fly, with no preparation or materials. A quick free app download and you're all launching into space together. It could be improved with a short tutorial on what to do when you're asked to flip the device because it causes a lot of confusion when it comes up. There's a diagnostic tool in the Upgrades section that can help figure it out, but it's hidden away in a spot many people will never think to check. Other than that, no one needs any special knowledge or skills and it's cooperative. Spaceteam is family-friendly, chaotic, silly fun -- and it's free!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about communication while using Spaceteam and in other situations. How can you be heard when everyone is speaking at once? How can you make sure you can hear other people?

  • Discuss in-app purchases and how/if kids can request purchases from an adult. What are the family rules?

App details

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