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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This fighting game doesn't convey a positive message. Players simply choose between a variety of random fighters whose motives aren't exactly clear, then engage in gratuitous and sensationalized hand-to-hand combat.
Positive Role Models
The game features a mix of characters, but it's not clear which ones are good or bad, and all of them seem interested in only one thing: beating up everyone else.
Ease of Play
Attacks and defensive moves are easy to learn thanks to a robust tutorial system that walks players through the basic controls. Novices can quickly hop in and mash through attack combinations, while veterans can master the timing and nuance of characters to become more adept.
Violence & Scariness
This is a fighting game. Characters use a variety of physical attacks with their hands and feet along with weapons to inflict pain on opponents. There is some blood but nothing too gruesome. All fighters are willing combatants.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One of the female fighters wears a tight-fitting outfit that reveals some cleavage.
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There's no swearing or other bad language used during the game.
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Products & Purchases
The game is based on a classic fighting franchise that was first available in arcades.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Killer Instinct is a Teen-rated fighting game available only via download for Xbox One. Players start with one character for free and can upgrade to eight characters for $20. None of the characters' motives for fighting are explained. Players pummel their opponents with a series of punches and kicks, with the occasional weapon tossed into the mix. There is some blood but nothing gory. Players can communicate freely and without moderation to strangers via voice chat.
Is It Any Good?
Killer Instinct a great fighting game that's easy to pick up and learn. Players can easily mash their way through fights and have an enjoyable time, but they'll need to work on their timing to learn more advanced techniques. The free version may offer access to only one character, but it includes all game modes, so players can find out if they like it before spending any money.
That said, it's pretty thin on options. Even when upgrading to the $20 version, players have only six fighters to work with at launch, with two more arriving in future downloads. There's also a limited number of game modes. Regardless, Killer Instinct is a fun, exciting brawler at a low cost.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.