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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The King of Fighters ALLSTAR is a free-to-play side-scrolling action game available for download on iOS and Android devices. The game collects characters from throughout SNK's popular The King of Fighters franchise and spinoffs, putting them together in an original story that spans the series' twenty-five-year history. Violence is a primary focus of the game, with players beating up waves of minions before fighting boss characters. While violence is drives the action, there's never anything particularly graphic shown onscreen. There's no nudity, but some female characters are presented in sexualized ways, like suggestive poses and revealing outfits. Although much of the game can be played without paying money, there are multiple microtransactions available for players to bypass the slow progress grind and add to or improve their collection of characters.
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What's it about?
THE KING OF FIGHTERS ALLSTAR literally brings gamers into the classic fighting and beat 'em up franchise like never before. The story begins with players waking up in a strange virtual world with no memory of who they are or how they got there. Guided by a young girl named Noah, you channel the power and abilities of contestants from the King of Fighters tournaments that have taken place over the years. Meanwhile, the creators of this virtual environment have discovered your presence as a "bug" in the programming, capable of throwing a wrench into their plans to cleanse the "real world." Hunted throughout fighting history, you'll need to recruit fighters to your cause, tapping into their abilities and proving your skills as you prove yourself to be the true "King of Fighters."
Is it any good?
This popular fighting franchise is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and as part of the festivities, the series has gotten a new game for mobile devices. The King of Fighters ALLSTAR isn't just a quick grab for attention though. The side-scrolling beat 'em up game is a highly polished, action-packed stroll down memory lane that's easy to pick up, but ridiculously hard to put down. The gameplay is fluid, fast, and responsive, with a lot of flashy effects and attention to detail that makes it feel less like a mobile game and more like an old school trip to the arcade. It's some button-mashing fun at its finest. There's plenty of solo content to fight through in the game's robust Story mode and its various Battle modes. And arcade fans will have fun pitting their best teams against the teams of other players in the game's multiple online Match modes and Tournaments.
Outside of the combat, there's a lot of content to take in. It can get a bit overwhelming sometimes, as players have to constantly manage their ever-growing roster of fighters. Whether it's leveling them up, upgrading their stats and abilities via an RPG-like (role-playing game) skill tree, or equipping things like assist characters, battle cards, or other such options, there's almost always some way to tweak and improve your characters. Of course, doing this is likely to burn through a lot of resources, encouraging people to either grind through a never-ending list of in-game challenges or to shell out some real-world cash to pick up a boost from one or more of the microtransaction bundles available in the shop. These offers are helpful, but thankfully not necessary to get a lot out of the game. Instead, The King of Fighters ALLSTAR comes across as a true celebration of an iconic series, and a great addition to a franchise that continues to prove itself time and again over the years.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about mobile game design. What are some kinds of games that translate well to mobile devices? How much does it mean to bring popular franchises to mobile gamers in new ways?
What are some of the ways that games and gamers benefit from the use of microtransactions in games? What are some of the ways these in-game purchases can hurt the gaming experience?
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: October 22, 2019
- Category: Action Games
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- Size: 228.10 MB
- Publisher: Netmarble Games Corp.
- Version: 1.0.4
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.3 or higher; Android 4.4 and up
- Last updated: October 24, 2019
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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.