A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
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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?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Activision
- Release date: October 2, 2020
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Alcohol Reference, Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Language
- Last updated: October 28, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.