Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to


By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Cartoonish fighter is more Smash Bros. than Mortal Kombat.

Game Nintendo Switch 2017
Arms Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 2+


age 8+

I like this game

This is a very fun game. I currently have 35+ hrs on it. It is one of the must have Nintendo Switch games. Basically you have to fight opponents with long expandable arms. Every time you punch, you’re arms expand to reach the opponent. It is a game/arm workout which is a greats mix. I recommend to people that liked games like Super Smash Bros... Retails at $59.99 — What’s in the game? Cartoon Violence - Characters punch each other with long, extending arms. Some arms fire weapons, such as bursts of energy, spinning blades. Characters don't bleed, suffer grievous injury, die, but can be knocked out.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (13 ):

There's a lot of potential in this fighter, but players will need to rely on Nintendo to roll out plenty of free post-launch content to make it worthwhile. Arms' combat mechanics are solid. It doesn't take long to learn how to punch enemies, throw them, or take advantage of unique elements within each arena, such as parked cars or glass containers. But there's also a good deal of strategy and skill involved when selecting the sorts of arms you might want to use against specific opponents and working out when to dash, block, and attack. A skilled player will always have an advantage over someone relying on mindless aggression, which ought to help the game appeal to seasoned fighter fans.

That said, some players may not take to the motion controls, which can be finicky if your movements aren't precise and measured. Using standard gamepad controls (by sliding the Joy-Cons into the Switch's charging grip) is a good alternative, but in doing so players eliminate some of the charm of the experience, which is founded on players physically throwing punches in the real world. What's more, the content available at launch seems paltry compared to other modern fighting games. Just ten characters, a handful of arenas, a single-player mode that most players will finish in under an hour, and a system for unlocking new arms that dishes out rewards too slowly. Free DLC -- including new characters -- promises to expand the game in a manner similar to how Nintendo's Splatoon grew during the year after it launched, but at the moment Arms is a fun game that seems a little light around the midsection.

Game Details

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Nintendo of America
  • Release date: June 16, 2017
  • Genre: Fighting
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence
  • Last updated: September 29, 2021

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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.

See how we rate