Virus War

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Virus War App Poster Image
Fun yet simplistic all-ages arcade-style shooting game.

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

Ease of Play

Game uses very simple touch controls and will be familiar to fans of similar games, but can get a bit frantic as you progress.

Violence & Scariness

While you do use lasers to destroy your enemies, there's no blood or gore.

Sexy Stuff

Players can earn coins and diamonds by playing, or get coins by watching ads. These coins are then used to buy new weapons, upgrade said weapons, or to upgrade the value of these coins. Players can also watch ads to keep playing when they die, or to buy ship upgrades. Players can also purchase a membership that gives them even more coins and diamonds.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Virus War is an arcade shooting game for iOS and Android devices. While you do shoot viruses with laser guns, there's no blood, gore, or any other objectionable content. It can be a bit commercial, though. Players earn coins and diamonds by playing or watching ads, and the coins can be used to upgrade your weapons or buy new ones, while diamonds can be converted into more coins. Players can also sometimes watch ads to purchase these upgrades, or to keep going when they die. There's also a paid membership that gives players more coins and diamonds. 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?

In VIRUS WAR, you have to destroy some virus before some unknown result happens. In fact, it would be hard to tell that the creatures you're fighting are actually viruses if the game wasn't called Virus War. It might seem like the creatures were aliens from the planet Numericon since they look like spaceships. Except they have numbers on them; numbers, oddly, that tell you how many shots they can take before they explode. Which doesn't sound tactically sound, but then doesn't sound like any viruses we've heard of, either. The more you can blast these creatures, the more you earn coins, which can be used to power up spaceships and gain new ones.

Is it any good?

While it has a couple annoying issues, and would be more fun on a console or computer or really anything with a real controller, this arcade-style shooter is still a lot of fun. In Virus War, you have to shoot some viruses. Or so we assume because of the name; this doesn't have anything that really explains what you're doing or why. It also doesn't explain why the viruses have numbers on them that indicate how many more shots they can take before they pop. No matter -- this is all about the shootin', and the shootin' is good. While the viruses may not shoot back, they will surround you, and overwhelm you, just through sheer numbers. Good thing there's plenty of opportunities to upgrade your weapons and pick up weapon-enhancing boosts mid-battle.

Virus War also benefits from having smooth controls, though it's hard not to imagine how much better this would be with a real controller. It could also use some more options as well, not just in the realm of difficulty (this is a little on the easy side), but also where the sound is concerned, since this doesn't let you turn off the game's terrible music without killing the sound effects as well. You also can't pause the game; lifting your finger off the screen merely slows things down a lot, leaving you in danger of being destroyed if you're not paying attention. But these are just minor infractions, slight annoyances that don't ruin the engaging and frantically-fun old school shooter immunologists will one day called Virus War.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about advertising. While you can get coins by watching ads in Virus War, you can also earn them by playing, so does it make sense to watch ads for coins you can just get by playing? Does it make you feel differently about this game that it's always asking you to watch an ad?

  • Why is it vital to have controls that work well during a game? Can a game still be fun if it has bad controls, or does it ruin the experience?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with ads and microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: July 12, 2019
  • Category: Arcade Games
  • Size: 79.20 MB
  • Publisher: Kunpo
  • Version: 4.3.3
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 10.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
  • Last updated: July 12, 2019

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