A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Playing with friends and family locally can foster an atmosphere of friendly competition and a sense of teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Characters haven't much personality beyond their clothes (costumes range from judge's robes to a chicken suit), and their motivation seems limited to a simple enthusiasm for hitting other people with food.
Ease of Play
The mechanics are simple: one virtual thumbstick is used for movement, another to aim and fire a weapon. The challenge in winning rests largely on the player's skill contrasted with that of their opponents. Controllers can make gameplay much easier, but players can still have success with the touchscreen.
Violence & Scariness
Tiny cartoon people viewed from a raised perspective engage in food fights, hitting each other with watermelons, baguettes, pies, wieners, and many other foods. "Creamed" characters simply fall to the ground and disappear.
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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.
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.
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.