A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that American Ninja Warrior Challenge is an arcade game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It's based on the TV game show American Ninja Warrior and has no inappropriate content. While characters fall down in ways that would hurt, there's no blood or gore. Similarly, while some of the athletic outfits they wear are form fitting, there's nothing revealing or sexier than a sports bra. This also has no cursing or anyone using drugs or alcohol. Playing the game may prompt gamers to watch the show.
What's it about?
Like the TV game show that inspired it, AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR CHALLENGE has people running an obstacle course. Players have to hit specific buttons at just the right time to complete the courses; failing to do so results in them falling into a pool of water or something else equally embarrassing. But unlike similar action-based games that require split-second timing, this one doesn't have you cheating death or trying to save the princess; you're doing it for the glory of finishing the course. And, we assume, to get your face on a box of cereal.
Is it any good?
Much like the athletic game show that inspired it, this arcade obstacle course game will entertain fans of the show, while fans of similar games will find it boring. Like the TV show, American Ninja Warrior Challenge has you running, jumping, and climbing your way through an obstacle course that looks like a more adult version of something you'd find in a fancy playground. Hitting the right button at the right time, you have to navigate your way through such challenges as the "Broken Bridge" (a series of thin platforms you have to jump on), the "Warped Wall" (which has you trying to run up a skateboard park-like curved wall), and the "Ultimate Cliffhanger" (in which you shimmy along suspended platforms while hanging from your hands). You even have to be mindful of your stamina, just like a real contestant.
But while this brings the fun and excitement of the TV game show to game consoles, people who aren't fans of the show -- or who expect this to be more like other obstacle course video games -- will find these challenges and the way you play them to be a bit plain and boring. Because you're hitting different buttons to perform the same action, this feels more like Guitar Hero or Rock Band -- or, for older folks, the classic Track & Field from 1983 -- than it does like more modern platformers that feature Mario, Donkey Kong, or Meat Boy. But while American Ninja Warrior Challenge may not be for serious gamers, it will be fun for serious fans of the show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about marketing and promotion. American Ninja Warrior Challenge is made for fans of the show, but it's also designed to promote it. Does seeing the game make you want to watch the program?
Is the impact of the violence in American Ninja Warrior Challenge affected by the fact that competitors wear protective gear to prevent injuries? Is the intensity reduced because no blood or gore is shown during gameplay?
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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.