Avatar: Legends of the Arena

Common Sense Media says

Online fighting game falls below expectations.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's no chat or trash talk. Instructions say 'Fight with honor and accept defeat with grace.'

Violence

Fighting uses the elements of water, fire, and air: no blood. You run around a fighting ring, take aim at one of your four opponents and release a kind of potent magic spell. For example, with water magic, you could turn an enemy into ice for a while to make him lose his health.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game hypes Nick TV series, Avatar The Last Airbender.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this online fighting game is set within the Avatar universe. At the time of launch, it doesn't seem to have worked out all the kinks, so be prepared to wait for others to fight with. Players use the elements of water, fire, and air to fight others. Anyone can play this game -- meaning adults can be avatars as well as kids. Some Avatar forums feature adults who write they can't wait to beat eight year olds in this fighting game with some RPG elements. However, since there is no chat in the game, adults on the site cannot communicate with kids.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

AVATAR: LEGENDS OF THE ARENA is an online multiplayer game that's a spinoff of Nickelodeon's Asian-influenced cartoon, Avatar The Last Airbender. While the cable series features Aang and his pals as they fight to save the world from the evil Fire Nation, this game is primarily about fighting others online in an arena and leveling up your character by winning fights and by training in single player mode. Gone are the complexities and minutia of the series, including the fact that Aang lives in a 12 year old's body even though he's a 112-year-old who's been in suspended animation.

You play the game by using your keyboard buttons and your mouse. After downloading and installing a 45 meg file, you'll create a character using a limited amount of options for hairstyles, clothing and the like. You choose which kind of fighter you wish to be: one who uses water, air, fire or earth. You'll be able to level up as you train and earn gold through playing online to use to purchase equipment and powers in a shop. Once you go online and find four people to play with (it's a long wait right now), the fighting is fast and furious, full of colorful, fireworks-like magic used to kill your opponent. Online play is a little sluggish but the graphics are quite detailed. Unfortunately, you'll even have to wait a good while for the single player, offline mode to load.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There certainly have been some misconceptions about this game. It's not an MMO; it's a four-person multiplayer game. At time of launch, there still were problems with getting online and playing: you may just wait and wait and nothing will happen. There are no parental controls regarding limiting the length of time you can play. Nor are the matches ranked by level; a newbie can easily be killed by an old hand at the game, some of whom have millions of leveling up points. Plus, in Avatar forums, you'll see snide posts from adults waiting to defeat newbie eight year olds. Thankfully, there's no chat function to allow these older folks to browbeat kids, or worse.

You can see that there's potential in the game, but it's not there yet. Leveling up and buying new powerups with your gold looks like fun. And the fighting, when it's not slow, looks like something you'll want to play over and over again. Still, there's no way to minimize the game aside from closing it all together. Worse, there's no way to call up the instructions during play or to print them. They're fairly complex. You're supposed to be able to find super rare, super powerful powerups called Relics. But the instructions don't indicated how. Ultimately, the game has a lot of problems that need to be worked out.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the Asian myths that have inspired the Avatar series, now in its fourth season on TV. Which element would you rather use to fight with: fire, water, air or earth, and why? Would you like to live in the adventurous world of Aang or is it too dangerous? What would you do to help your family if you could manipulate the elements in real life?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nickelodeon
Release date:September 19, 2008
Genre:Fighting
ESRB rating:NR for (Mac, Windows)

This review of Avatar: Legends of the Arena was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 8 years old July 29, 2009
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
i love you
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written bykonstantin32 February 23, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

i can't play it / error about server/

terrible! i love the series, the movie and all the other games, but one erron doesn't let me play!
Kid, 12 years old November 26, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Uh, did the site editors say what I think they did?

Water "magic"? MAGIC? To an Avatar the Last Airbender fan, that is highly offensive! It is called waterbending! Anyway, this is a pretty good game. I would not compare it to the video games, but it is not bloody and really safe for kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide