A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wreck-It Ralph is a trio of arcade games that are meant to promote the Disney movie. Only one presents any parental concerns -- Hero's Duty, an overhead shooter where players fight off wave after wave of enemies. There's no blood or gore there, but guns and rockets are constantly firing, and players say "oof" when they're injured. The game is also a pure marketing vehicle for the film, so kids will likely ask to see it after playing. Players on iOS devices can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
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What's it about?
Players can play one of three arcade games, selected via a terminal-like setting. In Fix It Felix Jr., they use virtual stick and button controls to \"repair\" the damage done by Ralph, while dodging bricks tossed at them. In Sweet Climber, they attempt to jump as high as possible in a Doodle Jump like fashion, tilting the screen to turn Ralph right or left. And in Hero's Duty, players use twin virtual thumbsticks to navigate an arena full of enemies and fire at those creatures -- with the player picking up power-ups by running over them.
Is it any good?
It's easy to brush off promotional tie-ins with movies, but to do so with Wreck-It Ralph would be a mistake. The app offers a trio of arcade games, each of which is filled with charm. The weakest link is Sweet Climber, which mimics Doodle Jump, but doesn't have its springiness. Hero's Duty is a competent action game with a good claustrophobic element. But it's Fix It Felix Jr. (the game Ralph flees in the movie) that's the real star of the show. It's simple, lighthearted, and utterly adorable in an 8-bit retro way. It is a bit, sad, though, that the game lacks Ralph's signature "I'm Gonna Wreck It!" tagline from the film.
While it's definitely a marketing vehicle, there's plenty to enjoy here -- and at a very affordable price.
For kids who love arcade games and movie apps
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