Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time Game Poster Image
Family-friendly action game delivers retro fun.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This third-person action game is about traveling through time to stop enemies from taking over the universe. It's a comical game that doesn't take itself too seriously. There aren't any overt messages here. You're tasked with defeating evil, which is positive (but you can play as the bad guys, too, if desired).

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play as Crash or his younger sister, Coco, in an effort to find four Quantum Masks, the guardians of space and time, to restore order to the universe. You can also unlock and play as the bad guys, too, if you like, including Dr. Neo Cortex, Dingodile, and others. The main hero, Crash, seems like a good guy, but there isn't any depth to assess his true character.

Ease of Play

The game's easy to pick up and play, even for beginners. Tutorials teach moves early in the game (with on-screen prompts).


There's cartoon violence, but no blood or gore. There are cartoon weapons used by the bad guys, such as pistols and bombs, plus explosive TNT crates. Crash and other characters can smash into rocks, fall off a cliff, or get "killed," which causes the character to disappear (to imply death). Much of the combat is reminiscent of Road Runner or Bugs Bunny cartoons.


There are references to other Crash Bandicoot games and nods to other PlayStation titles, like a Spyro the Dragon floatie seen on a beach or a Mardi Gras balloon in another level. There are no downloadable content (DLC) options. This is the latest chapter in the Crash Bandicoot franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is an action adventure game for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This is the latest game in the Crash Bandicoot franchise, and it even references other games like Spyro The Dragon. You play as marsupials, Crash and Coco Bandicoot, out to collect masks to stop enemies from tearing about the universe. You can also unlock and play as some of the other characters, including a couple of the bad guys. There's plenty of animated cartoon violence, but nothing that should concern parents as it's not realistic, bloody or gory. But there are cartoon guns, bombs, explosive dynamite crates, and more.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJohn A. October 6, 2020

Rated PG (frequent mild violence, threat, mild bad language).

SEX/NUDITY - None. VIOLENCE/GORE - There are frequent sequences of mild violence and action, which usually are very cartoonish and have strong comical elements.... Continue reading
Adult Written bySpoopy2510 October 10, 2020

A game for the older Crash fans, kind of

(This review contains spoilers)

I've been a huge Crash fan ever since I was a kid and this game was really enjoyable for me, it has everything I wanted in... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 22, 2021


Teen, 13 years old Written byConLoMo December 28, 2020

Best entry in the Crash franchise

This is a fun and awesome platform by game! It is very difficult however so there is a slight learning curve. If you’ve played a Crash game before, you’ll feel... Continue reading

What's it about?

The first new Crash Bandicoot game in more than a decade, CRASH BANDICOOT 4: IT'S ABOUT TIME lets you star as the zany orange marsupial (or his sister Coco), once again out to stop the malicious Dr. Neo Cortex and other villains. This time around, a hole is ripped in space and time, and it's your job to find four powerful Quantum Masks to restore order to the universe -- before it's too late. Played from a third-person perspective, the gameplay includes jumping and swinging, collecting items, defeating baddies, finding shortcuts and secrets, and other "platforming" challenges that require timing, precision, and coordinated button presses. At times, you can manipulate time, change dimensions, race across rails, and outrun huge boss characters. Along with Coco, gamers can play as other characters (each with their own unique skills), as well as unlock Time Trials, and skins, accessories. An all-new style of mirrored play (called N. Verted mode) delivers alternate perspectives, music, sound effects, and other fun ways to change up the gameplay (without giving away too much). Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time also offers Modern and Retro modes, a competitive four-player Bandicoot Battle mode or Pass N. Play co-op mode.

Is it any good?

Fans of the original games (released as a trilogy in 2018) and newcomers alike will fall for the charm of this colorful platformer. While it remains faithful to what made this series so popular -- accessible gameplay, responsive controls, imaginative (and varied) environments and high replayability -- Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time introduces clever ideas, multiplayer support, and a ton of collectibles, secret areas, and more. As you embark on this time-traveling adventure -- with the story told through several cut-scene sequences -- you'll visit worlds ranging from Road Runner-like desert environments and futuristic cities to prehistoric lush jungles and underwater scenes. And it's not just a cosmetic change, but the goals and many of the gameplay mechanics change as well to keep the gameplay fresh. The quantum masks you find, when activated,  will also give you new abilities in the level, which adds even more fun. At the end of each level, you'll see how many items you've collected (in case you want to go back and do a better job), while also unlocking Time Trials, extra costumes, and more. And why not go back and play as Dr. Cortex, Dingodile, Tawna, Coco, and others? Each character adds something new, too.

While the game can be picked up easily by younger or novice players, some levels may frustrate you as you die again and again (hopefully after crossing a Checkpoint) until you master the moves or timing just right. While you might want to throw you controller on occasion, it doesn't make you want to abandon the game altogether. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is the sequel gamers want: It doesn't mess with the original formula but provides enough new features and variety to keep you engaged for hours on end. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time affected by the cartoonish nature of the gameplay? Would it have a larger impact if the violence was more realistic?

  • Do you prefer playing games by yourself, or with others? Do you think you'd enjoy playing a game with someone else if that was the only way you could bypass difficult sections?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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