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Parents' Guide to

Hot Lava

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Imaginative parkour adventure with mild violence.

Game Apple Arcade , Windows 2019
Hot Lava Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 1 parent review

age 8+

Simple Yet Fun Twist on Childhood Game

I don’t know if you other parents played Floor is Lava as kids, but I sure know I did. With a new generation of kids, I think turning the game into a video game will make for hours of fun

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This isn't the sort of game destined to be a mainstream hit. It shouldn't be too hard for most players to get into Hot Lava's aesthetic, which is full of humorous visual details that serve as a love letter to retro cartoons, comics, and childhood playtime. But other parts of the game will likely prove a bit off-putting for many people, starting with the controls. First-person parkour games that require players to make accurate, well-timed leaps always come with the risk of frustration, and that remains true here. Controlling the direction of and timing of leaps is essential when aiming for platforms, pipes, ropes, bars, and other objects, and it's regrettably easy to misjudge where your avatar's feet are, meaning missed jumps are pretty common. Thankfully, punishment for failure isn't too harsh -- you instantly respawn at nearby checkpoints -- but that doesn't necessarily make it easier to stomach repeated mistakes.

Compounding these problems are the controls. If you're playing with a traditional gamepad, it's no more difficult than other such first-person running and jumping games. But playing with touchscreen controls affects accuracy, which can prove extremely challenging. This won't be a problem for people playing on Mac, PC, or Apple TV, but players who want to use a phone could be turned off from the entire experience simply because they never feel relaxed moving and jumping (it's worth adding that you can use a Bluetooth gamepad to play on your phone, though this may be impractical depending on the setting). Hot Lava is imaginative and funny and bases its action on skilled movement rather than combat, but the deciding factor for most will be whether they can find a way to get comfortable with the controls.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Apple Arcade , Windows
  • Pricing structure: Paid (Free with Apple Arcade subscription, which is $4.99/month.)
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Klei Entertainment
  • Release date: September 20, 2019
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: October 3, 2019

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