A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
No overtly positive messages. Players, as privates in military, given an assignment, expected to carry it out successfully.
Positive Role Models
Missions are clear cut, there's only one outcome -- to capture bases of operation, destroy enemy units.
Ease of Play
Simple controls; easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Enemies engage, "eat" each other, similar to Pac-Man, without blood, gore. Superior numbers, superior units always prevail.
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Mild language, words like "damn" during mission briefings, summaries from central command.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Boid is a downloadable real-time strategy game, featuring both a free multiplayer game and a pay-to-play single-player campaign. The multiplayer allows for online typed chat between players, so standard safety precautions should be observed. The game structure is very simple: Create units and overwhelm enemy forces and bases to progressively move from one end of the two-dimensional map to the other. Victory is claimed by taking over all enemy bases and halting production of more units. This is a point-and-click game, requiring fast thinking. Think of this as a chess match played at high speed. There's mild language in the single-player campaign (which is approximately 10 hours long but can be played faster based on your speed. There are more than 30 maps available and a map-editor feature for those who wish to create more), and the meat-and-potatoes portion of the game is the online multiplayer.
Is It Any Good?
Bright and colorful, fast to play, and simple to navigate, this game is a pleasant and quick diversion. Boid has a great look, doesn't fool around with overly complex control schemes, offers enough challenges to keep it all lively, and offers three difficulty levels in the single-player campaign (which was just released) to keep even veterans of the RTS genre on their toes. There are ranked games, quick games, and custom games, lobbies to hook up with another player quickly, or the ability to invite a friend to a custom match. The single-player campaign plays exactly like the online game, except real opposing players are replaced with the computer, which can be somewhat predictable in the normal setting but quite challenging in the extreme mode.
Where Boid stumbles is in the repetitious gameplay. The formula is exactly the same in each game setting. If you have played it for several hours, it doesn't throw anything different at you to catch you unawares and give you reason to pause. While the action might be too fast-paced for younger players new to the genre, that's actually a solid aspect of the game. This isn't a rock-paper-scissors brand of game -- it's much more basic: The player with the most units spawned wins. Deciding when to keep spawning, how many units to throw into the game, where to deploy the units, and when to go all in is what gives Boid a bit of personality.
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.