A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
The game is a straightforward endless runner game. There are a few slight variations, including the characters' different special abilities and the driving side missions, but it's always a matter of timing swipes to avoid obstacles and collect coins.
Violence & Scariness
Players spend most of the game dodging obstacles and avoiding robotic drones. Some human enemies appear from time to time, with players sliding into them and knocking them over. Some abilities also allow players to crash through obstacles, resulting in small explosions of debris.
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Products & Purchases
For starters, the game is designed to be what amounts to an interactive advertisement for the Spies in Disguise animated movie. The progress in the gameplay, including unlocking additional characters and abilities, requires a grueling grinding process or paying money in the in-game store. The game also constantly pushes players to watch other third-party ads to earn an extra chance in a run or other items that can be used to progress.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Spies in Disguise: Agents on the Run is an endless runner action game based on the Spies in Disguise animated feature film, and is available for download on iOS and Android devices. Players take control of characters from the film as they run, jump, dodge, and slide their way past various obstacles and enemies, collecting coins and power-ups along the way. It does have some very mild violence, with players sliding into enemies to knock them over or running into obstacles and getting zapped, hit, or otherwise stopped in their tracks. The game's free-to-play but has a heavy push for players to buy items in the in-game shop or to watch short third-party ads to earn extra lives and other special items.
Is It Any Good?
Anytime a big movie, particularly a big movie aimed at kids, gets ready to hit theaters, it's a safe bet that a mobile game tie-in is sure to follow. Enter Spies in Disguise: Agents on the Run, an endless runner game based on the Spies in Disguise animated flick. If you've played any other of the endless number of endless runner games, you probably know what to expect. Players pick a character and then start an obstacle course run, jumping dodging, and sliding to bypass any hazards and collect the obligatory stream of coins. Oddly, the game never explains exactly how it's supposed to tie in to the movie from which it's based, and it never really feels like it fits. Instead, it feels like the movie was pigeonholed (pun intended) into a completely unrelated game.
The game tries to add a couple of extras layers to change up the formula a bit, giving each character a special ability and tossing the occasional car chase into the mix. But neither of these does much to make the game stand out. Only certain characters can ever access the car and those that can wind up dealing with controls that are sluggish and unresponsive while behind the wheel. The game's also hampered by the massive grind required to unlock any new content and characters. This leaves players stuck in a repetitive loop unless they're willing to shell out the cash to speed up their progress. Meanwhile, players have to choose whether or not to get pulled out of the experience and forced to watch thirty second ads for completely unrelated apps (some of which wouldn't necessarily be suited to the "all ages" market") just to continue their current run for a few more seconds.
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.