A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Butter Royale is a battle royale online multiplayer game exclusive to Apple Arcade. The gameplay (similar to Fortnite) features cartoonish characters viewed from a raised perspective doing battle with food-based weapons such as bread loaf clubs and ice cream guns. There's no blood or gore. Opponents' characters simply fall to the ground and disappear once defeated. There's no story, and the characters have little in the way of personality or motivation beyond a seeming enthusiasm for clobbering or blasting people with food. But kids who play with groups of friends or family are bound to have a positive social gaming experience that includes both friendly competition and strategic team collaboration. Parents should note that, unlike most battle royale games, this one has no in-game purchases or microtransactions. All items are earned by completing objectives within the game.
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What's it about?
BUTTER ROYALE is a simple battle royale-styled game that swaps out traditional guns and gritty violence for comedic food-based weapons, cartoon hijinks, and a top-down presentation that fosters a laid back atmosphere. Matches begin with 32 players dropped onto a map armed with nothing but a melee weapon, such as a baguette. They must search the area for additional weapons -- such as a wiener-slinging rifle, a fast-firing tomato sauce pistol, and Durian grenade launcher. They'll also need to hunt down additional power-ups, like jelly shields or milkshakes that freeze opponents before finding and doing battle with other players. As the match goes on, the area of engagement slowly shrinks, forcing players into a smaller and smaller action zone that guarantees more frequent encounters. You can choose to take on everyone else on your own, or you can form a squad with your friends for team-based play. If you're not online, you can start a match against AI bots for a little practice. Regardless of the mode you choose, you'll constantly earn points to level up your character, as well as in-game currency that can be used to purchase new outfits to set yourself apart from your foes.
Is it any good?
Think of this as a battle royale game designed to satisfy parents worried about the potential negative effects of games like Fortnite. Butter Royale's food fights aren't remotely as gritty or intense as the realistic weapon violence found in similar games, and matches typically last only a fraction of the time. Plus, there's little worry that players will be bullied or scammed by others, since no support is provided for online communication. And, perhaps best of all, there aren't any microtransactions or loot boxes to worry about, ensuring that kids won't rack up any charges for virtual goods. The question, of course, is whether stripping a battle royale game of these common features will make it less fun to play. The answer is both yes and no.
Kids who play games mostly to socialize with friends can still do so here, but they'll need to be in the same room. Indeed, playing with local pals is far and away the best way to experience Butter Royale, and half a dozen people can play on the same Apple Arcade account, making it a great social gaming pick for families. There's a nice mix of weapons, and a bit of strategy is introduced via the ability to hide in tall grass to ambush enemies, but the map is pretty small and matches are short, forcing players to keep on the move and act reactively rather than tactically. What players won't need to worry about, though, is a lack of ways to customize their characters. New costumes, flags, and footprints are regularly unlocked through play, providing kids plenty of opportunity to express their personalities without spending a penny. There have also been significant updates as well since its launch, ranging from new food weapons to daily and weekly quests to give players lots of goals to try to accomplish as they blast their opponents. On top of that, the developers have recently thrown in time-limited gameplay, such as a Halloween-focused game mode where players can only use melee based weapons to defeat enemies. Butter Royale may be a bit too basic to become a new obsession for veteran fans of the genre, but it works very well as a means to eat up a few minutes now and then when longer game sessions are impractical.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen time. Matches in Butter Royale are lightning quick, often completed in just a few minutes, so how many matches do you play at a time before you feel satisfied and ready to move on to another activity?
When playing games with friends and family, how do you feel if the person who wins gloats or pokes fun of the losers? What might be a proper way to celebrate a victory?
- Platforms: Apple Arcade
- Pricing structure: Paid, Free (This game is included with a subscription to Apple Arcade ($5/month).)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Mighty Bear Games
- Release date: January 25, 2020
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: October 20, 2020
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