A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
WAR ROBOTS is an online real-time multiplayer game where two teams of players pit their robots against each other and fight to the death on various battlefields. A virtual thumbstick and virtual trigger let players steer their robots through rural and urban environments, using objects as cover as they stalk the enemy team. Players earn currency by fighting opponents and can use that currency to purchase new robots or upgrade existing ones. An in-app Hangar lets players customize their robots, giving them new weapons, abilities, and paint jobs. At high enough levels, players unlock Clan membership and Clan Wars, as well as additional game modes.
Is it any good?
Though this game's been around for more than four years, the app version has significant issues that only the most dedicated robot fan will overlook. The most obvious issues for War Robots are the badly controlled AI for machines on the starter levels and a seeming lack of players. The app has nearly three million downloads, so why then do so many enemy teams play like, well - stupid robots? You could chalk that up to crummy controls. Most gamers know by now that virtual thumbsticks are simply a good means of raising your blood pressure. Still, that doesn't account for the way enemies stand and let themselves get shot. They don't often use cover or shoot back, so unless the developers are trying to make beginners feel like unstoppable war machines, something's seriously wrong.
As a result, working up to bigger and better robots is a chore. The first fifteen/twenty levels count as the “beginner” part of the game, and must be cleared before Clan Wars and the Workshop unlock. That's a downer, since Clans let you interact with other people, and the Workshop's where you get your hands on the really cool robots. Unless you want to spend some cash to speed things up, you're in for a lot of dumb-enemy shooting. On the upside, the different maps are interesting, so if you have bags of patience (or bags of money), higher levels could eventually mean better combat. Unfortunately, most app users are neither patient nor wealthy, and with the mountain of new apps coming out every day, they don't have to be. Ultimately, War Robots is the kind of app that attracts mech lovers of all stripes, but only rewards the most dedicated ones.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the true cost of free-to-play games. How much do you think is reasonable to spend on a single app like War Robots?
Do your Clan obligations interfere with your real life responsibilities? Is there a way to balance your in-game play and screen time and time away from a device in a reasonable manner?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free (Contains optional in-app purchases.)
- Release date: April 14, 2014
- Category: Action Games
- Topics: Robots
- Size: 949.70 MB
- Publisher: Pixonic Games LTD
- Version: 3.9.0
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 7.1 or later; Android 4.1 and up
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love robots
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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.