A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Echo Arena is a futuristic virtual reality arena sport for the Oculus Rift. In this team-based sport, which is a companion piece to the game Lone Echo, you'll fly through the air in zero gravity, fight against rival robots, and attempt to score on your opponent. There's some mild violence, but no blood or gore. There's also some profanity, including the words "s--t," "damn," and "hell." Parents should also be aware that virtual reality equipment makers don't recommend VR experiences for kids under 12 because of the potential impact the technology may have on younger players' physiological development.
What's it about?
ECHO ARENA is a multiplayer action game that lets players compete in a futuristic sports match in zero gravity. As you learn in the single-player companion game, Lone Echo, you're a humanoid robot named Jack who joins a team and competes against another team. You'll use your spacesuit's thrusters to propel yourself through this arena, avoiding obstacles and engaging in hand-to-hand combat with others, and then attempt to score on the opposing team by tossing a disc into a net.
Is it any good?
This multiplayer-only action game with a futuristic sports twist makes clever use of the VR hardware to make you feel like you're really floating and thrusting through a zero-gravity arena. The zero-G matches are intense: You use your wrist thruster to propel yourself through the arena, avoid objects, punch or grapple enemy players, and grab the Tron-like disc to toss it toward your opponent's zone. You'll have to use smart teamwork to succeed. There are different strategies to employ, so a little trial and error should help you figure out the best plan of attack. While very enjoyable, Echo Arena isn't perfect. There's a lack of arena and game-type variety, but taking the game for what it is -- an inexpensive multiplayer VR title that seems to nail the controls and the sensation of weightlessness -- Ready At Dawn has done a stellar job with this highly recommended download for Oculus Rift owners.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about virtual reality gaming. Is Echo Arena a great VR title? Will this technology take off, or is it a fad? Are there too many barriers of entry for VR gaming to become a mainstream success?
Talk about competition. What can you learn from playing a virtual sports game? Do you get the same enjoyment playing this as you would a real sport? Why or why not?
- Platforms: Oculus Rift
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Oculus Studios
- Release date: August 22, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Robots, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Language, 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.