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Talking Tom Hero Dash

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Talking Tom Hero Dash App Poster Image
Mediocre runner for kids is bloated with ads.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Gameplay is designed for younger players, so is very basic and easy to learn. All players do is swipe to move left and right, jump, and slide. Combat, such as it is, is simply running into bad guys, with no extra input needed from the player.

Violence

There are enemy characters in the game to fight against by simply running into them. Defeated foes are knocked into the air and off the screen, occasionally hitting the front of the screen and sliding away.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Part of the Talking Tom and Friends franchise, which includes numerous mobile games and an animated web series. It pushes players, the main target audience being kids, to watch different ads for extra bonuses while still showing banner ads throughout the game. Encourages players to spend real money in the game's shop for special boosts, costumes, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Talking Tom Hero Dash is an endless runner platform game available for iOS and Android devices. The game is part of the Talking Tom and Friends franchise, which includes a number of mobile apps and internet cartoons targeted toward younger audiences. The game is simple to play, with basic controls that young players can learn quickly. Aside from collecting coins and dodging obstacles, players also fight against enemy minions by running into them and knocking them off the screen. Parents should be aware that the game is heavy with ads, both in the form of pop-ups during gameplay and as opt-in views to earn minor gameplay bonuses. There's also an in-game shop where players (or their parents) can purchase extra gameplay boosts and cosmetic outfits.

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What's it about?

In TALKING TOM HERO DASH, Tom and his friends suit up for some globetrotting superhero action as they run across their world to defeat the Raccoon Boss and his army of furry henchmen. The Raccoon Boss has kidnapped Tom's companions and has set out to pollute the planet, turning it into one giant trash pile to rummage through. Utilizing his superhero alter ego, Tom must run, jump, and slide his way through city streets, over skyscraper rooftops, and even across huge seafaring cruise ships to rescue his friends and recruit them to his cause in the process. Gamers will play special events and reach certain milestones to unlock extra costumes for Tom and his friends. If you collect enough coins as you run, you can use the money to clean up each part of Tom's world, facing off against the Raccoon Boss in an epic showdown before moving to the next part of the world in need of a hero.

Is it any good?

Endless runner games tend to follow a relatively straightforward formula, with players trying to cover more distance and collect more items than they did the time before. A lot of these games put their own unique and creative twists on that formula to stand out among the competition, but then there are games like Talking Tom Hero Dash, which follow the formula in such a generic way that the whole thing feels bland, repetitive, and just plain boring. Before long, you're simply going through the motions with this title, which loses its appeal rather quickly.

Talking Tom Hero Dash looks good enough. It's a colorful, cartoonish world that younger kids will likely find appealing. The difficulty's also almost nonexistent, which might keep that young audience from getting frustrated, but it never offers enough challenge to give any sense of accomplishment, either. But the worst part of the game is how absolutely bloated it is with ads. It's bad enough that random pop-up banner ads infect nearly every menu screen, but that's nothing compared to the ads the game pushes kids to watch for some minor in-game bonus. Some of these ads can run 30 seconds or more. Worse still, these ads are being shoved at the game's much younger market, prompting kids to install all kinds of new software on their mobile devices. While this could be considered just a problem with the way these ads are designed, the simple fact is Talking Tom Hero Dash spends almost as much time pushing ads on kids as it does offering any real gameplay. That issue makes it harder to enjoy Talking Tom Hero Dash for longer than a few game runs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about video game marketing. What are some of the ways that games use ads to target gamers? How can parents best deal with ads that target kids?

  • What are examples of the ways free-to-play games generate revenue? When do these marketing tactics cross the line?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love superheroes

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