Atlas Reactor

Game review by
Franklin Rinaldi, Common Sense Media
Atlas Reactor Game Poster Image
Sci-fi strategy brings new tactics to multiplayer matches.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Reinforcing good strategy, tactics, team synergy, but focus is on killing enemies during gameplay round.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Game's characters all have own story, unique qualities, skills. While characters can be appealing, goal is to use their skills to eliminate other players.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; complexity comes in learning abilities of all Freelancers and the layout of the maps to properly support your team, anticipate actions of other team.

Violence

Point is to eliminate other team through use of weapons, abilities. While objective is to kill, there's no blood, gore, and death is shown as removal from board.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Option to purchase loot boxes that unlock cosmetic items for real money.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Atlas Reactor is a downloadable online turn-based arena game. The top-down approach and graphical style minimize the impression of violence even though the objective is the elimination of the other team with various weapons, spells, and skills. It is a "Buy to Play" game that has an unlimited-time "Free to Play Demo" mode with restricted features encouraging players to purchase the full game. It also offers purchased items in-game to enhance your experience through cosmetic items. Communication between players isn't moderated, so players could be exposed to objectionable language.

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What's it about?

ATLAS REACTOR is set at the end of a world war between humankind and AI called the War of the Titans. Thanks to the global battle, only one city called Atlas is left standing as the lone hope for humanity. Unfortunately, conflict raged in the city walls as the remaining humans tried to decide if all AI must be eliminated. Out of the chaos, three big trusts (Corporations) rose to power and fought for control over the reactor, the source of power for the city of Atlas and its political domination. This conflict became known as the War of the Trusts, and eventually a truce was forged among these groups, ushering in an era of peace and cooperation, at least on the surface. As a Freelancer working for one of the three Trusts, you work in secret to sabotage the other trusts in an attempt to gain more power and, eventually, total control of the reactor.

Is it any good?

This tactical multiplayer game adds a strategic component to fights, which breathes new life into the genre and reduces player-vs.-player frustration. Thanks to the tactical turn-based battle system, players choose a Freelancer from the Frontline, Firepower, or Support classes and play competitive four-by-four team-based battles as one of five match types. Players are given a limited amount of time before each round to decide which ability (prep, dash, or blast) and move sets they'll take each round. Rounds are then executed in four phases: prepping skills, dashing away from enemies or powering up attacks, attacking, and finally moving. Your decisions in these phases determine the outcome for each round, and all choices are executed at the same time. That means that making wise choices is critical to success. The goal is to get five kills from the other team before they do the same to you. If you're eliminated, you return to continue the fight as long as there's still time in a round and the score goal hasn't been reached.

The turn-based strategic gameplay is very intriguing and makes Atlas Reactor stand out from similar arena-type games. The fast-paced decision-making before each round has the potential to be a limitation for newer players when they're competing against experienced players, but this is easily overcome thanks to the game's slight learning curve and reliance on teamwork. As you move into ranked play, players discover that the only way to be highly effective as a team is to rely upon communication and coordination of tactics. The size of the maps you play on are small enough to keep the action going but large enough to still keep it tactical while also being well-designed and looking amazing. You're presented with bright colors and characters that are entertaining to play and that fit the sci-fi theme and setting of the game very well. Plus, Atlas Reactor manages to bring a lot of humor and fun into the genre, further improving its replayability. It's refreshing to see a competitive game rely on intelligent tactical decision-making instead of solely relying on fast reflexes. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. While the focus is on eliminating the other team, there isn't any blood or gore shown, so does the action have the same impact as a more violent game? Does this make the gameplay accessible for all ages, even though you're trying to destroy your opponents?

  • Discuss teamwork and communication in games. How does proper communication foster teamwork?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $29.99
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid (Atlas Reactor is a Pay to Play game that includes a Free to Try mode. The free to play mode has limitations to the Freelances you can play and number of loot boxes you can open daily. There are three ways to purchase the game each containing everything from the previous tier, $29.99 gets you every Freelance, $59.99 includes collectible Emoji, Banners and Freelancer Skins, $99.99 includes the Golden Age Skins, Additional collectible skins, GG Boosts and Mod Tokens.)
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Trion Worlds
  • Release date: October 4, 2016
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Topics: Superheroes, Robots, Science and Nature
  • ESRB rating: NR for Not rated, would rate T for Teen due to Violence

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love strategy

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