A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Deformers is a physics-based combat game that pits rolling creatures against one another, such as rounded animals, aliens, and food. It's a fast, frenetic action game that encourages you to ram and smash into enemies, collect power-ups, and attempt to destroy each other (or push each other off the edge of the arena). The combat can be violent, but it's not very graphic, other than some bloodlike goop or chunks that might come out of a fallen character (the chunks are called "Tribs," and you're encouraged to pick them up to become stronger). One power-up is a gunlike projectile that's used to shoot at another character.
What's it about?
DEFORMERS is a fast-paced, physic-based action game where players take control of "Forms": puffy animals, alien creatures, or food items like hamburgers or watermelon. Combat is the name of the game, where you'll roll around larger outdoor levels to smash into enemies, collect (and then use) power-ups, and attempt to destroy the opposing team. The core gameplay remains the same between levels -- rolling, jumping, flying, throwing, ramming, and perhaps shooting -- but there are different maps to learn, strategies to employ, and power-ups to master. Along with playing against computer-controlled opponents, Deformers can also be played on the same TV or PC, via local split-screen (with up to three other people), or players can team up to take on others online.
Is it any good?
This combat game has a great premise, but technical flaws and multiplayer issues prevent it from being anything but average. First, the good news: many players will enjoy choosing (and customizing) the silly-looking creatures you can play as, rolling around the environment, and body-slamming opponents to the finish. There are a few maps to master (mostly outdoor levels) and various power-ups to collect and use, and there's both split-screen and online support. The pace is fast, frantic, and funny. Along with the two dozen forms or so, and customization options (hair styles, sunglasses, backpacks, and so on), you can also choose one of five classes -- Striker, Ranger, Guardian, Marksman, and Speedster -- each with different abilities.
But since multiplayer is so important to this game, it's a shame that many connectivity issues can mar the experience. Along with lobby issues, where you can't find someone to play with, the matchmaking doesn't work (just hangs at times), servers are down for maintenance, or online play is incredibly slow, which doesn't bode well for a fast-paced arcade game. Games can freeze or crash. Plus, while there are a few maps, the game only has a couple of modes: Deathmatch (every blob for itself), Team Deathmatch (up to four-on-four teams), and Form-ball, which might resemble Rocket League's arena-like soccer gameplay. Finally, when you play local co-op (split-screen), only one of the four players can customize Forms. Overall, Deformers isn't a bad game -- it can be quite fun when it works -- but it needs some technical "patching" by the developers, and some extra modes and tweaks would be nice, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Although it's not too graphic and certainly unrealistic, should kids be allowed to play Deformers if the goal is to destroy enemies in combat? Chunky body pieces and bloodlike liquid splashes out of some fallen enemies, so is it really appropriate? Or is it innocent enough because enemies are pigs, watermelon, and four-eyed aliens?
Talk about teamwork. Are there any lessons that can be gained from working together to defeat opponents?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: GameTrust
- Release date: May 11, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Cats, dogs, and mice, Horses and farm animals, Space and aliens
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence
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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.