What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hero Smash is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) where kids create and customize their Super Heroes (or Villains). They take on missions that mostly require that they kill things with various powers and weapons. It is web-based, so there isn't any download or installation required or purchase of software. Parents also need to know that the game can be played for free but that it has paid components as well.
What's it about?
In HERO SMASH, kids start by rescuing someone from the evil Dr. Purple in the tutorial, but can decide to help either Heroes or Villains in any part of Super City as well as some more or less neutral missions (many of which require you to kill things).
Is it any good?
Hero Smash allows quite a bit of free-form play as there are hundreds of different costume pieces kids can obtain as rewards by simply playing the game (some are amusing helms that resemble the creature they got them from). There is no advantage to playing either Hero or Villain and no real drawback to playing a mission or two for the other side, although kids do build up Good or Evil points.
Unlike many other MMOGs, characters aren't locked into a certain role, as kids can buy and equip any power and weapon they choose. Although buying a subscription opens up a great deal more content, kids playing the free game will also find a lot to do. Team play is as simple as several kids fighting a powerful monster at the same time as each player receives experience and items individually.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Internet safety. Why do we not share our real names and where we live with other kids we meet online? How do you know they are also kids?
Families can also talk about setting computer limits. How much time is too much? What is eye-strain and why do we need to rest our eyes or look at things from different distances?