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Tag with Ryan
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tag with Ryan is a free-to-play endless runner adventure game available for download on iOS and Android devices. The game's designed to promote and prominently features YouTube personalities Ryan from Ryan ToyReviews and “Combo Panda” from the YouTube channel of the same name. While there’s no explicit violence in the game, players do take control of young Ryan through hazardous courses, avoiding a variety of dangers and obstacles in the process. Parents should also pay careful attention to the game’s microtransactions. These include many of the usual free-to-play extras, but the game's content and purchases are clearly targeted towards young kids.
What's it about?
TAG WITH RYAN is the "official authorized app" of Ryan ToysReview, the popular unboxing and review video series on YouTube. When fellow YouTuber Combo Panda comes across a brand-new game, he decides to hack the software and create something new and challenging for his friend Ryan. The game has been modded into an epic game of virtual tag. In order to convince Ryan to play, Combo Panda has hidden a variety of fun costumes for Ryan to discover and to earn. As Ryan, you'll have to outrun Combo Panda in this endless runner experience, collecting tokens like pizzas and suns, while jumping and dodging obstacles. The farther you can get, the more content you can unlock. Are you up to the challenge? Can you help Ryan catch Combo Panda, adding to your collection of fun gifts in the process?
Is it any good?
While most video games are developed with entertainment in mind, there are some that are developed mainly for promotional purposes. Tag with Ryan is one of those games, created to promote the Ryan ToysReview series on YouTube. The game targets younger gamers with an overly simplified endless runner that puts kids in the shoes of the YouTube star as he chases down fellow YouTube personality, Combo Panda, in a seemingly infinite, repetitive game of virtual tag.
If you've ever played an endless runner before, you know the formula. Players run along a pre-determined path, dodging obstacles and collecting items to cash in for power-ups and cosmetic goodies. Even in the virtual setting, it seems a bit odd having a seven-year-old, especially one representing an actual kid, performing death-defying feats like jumping over massive cliffs, dodging boulders, etc. And then there's the issue with marketing the microtransactions for extra power-ups and content to young kids. Even taking all of that out of the equation, that game just feels thrown together. The visuals are about as basic as can be and the controls feel slow and sluggish. Coupled with the repetitive nature of the game, Tag with Ryan feels like one toy that should've been left in its box.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about marketing in gaming. How are games used to promote different products or media? What are ways that publishers target specific audiences, and how can you keep kids from being too influenced by the marketing?
How can “influencers” on social media outlets like YouTube and Instagram affect the purchasing habits of their audiences?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.