Marvel Super Hero Squad Online

(i)

 

Kids play superheroes in mildly violent online game.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As befits a kids' superhero game, the missions are all about defeating evil and saving the world. However, much of the game's action focuses on cartoon-ish violence.

Positive role models

Even Marvel's more controversial superheroes are tamed down to become positive role models who do nothing but good in this kid-friendly game.

Ease of play

The entire game can be played with mouse clicks. It has a superlative tutorial system for young kids that allows them to go back and repeat a lesson if they wish. It also has a simple and intuitive user interface.

Violence

In-game avatars are short, stubby, cartoon-ish representations of characters from the Marvel Universe. However, to defeat enemy henchmen, robots, and boss villains they must punch, kick, and use weapons and superhero powers. The effects of violence are depicted by cartoon "stars" effects. Enemies fall down and disappear when defeated. Player avatars also fall down when defeated, but rise to their feet again shortly thereafter.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There is a free-to-play component to this game. Players will see an "Upgrade to Jr. Shield Agent" button in the top right corner of their screen.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Marvel Super Hero Squad Online is a massively multiplayer online game designed for kids. As a superhero game there is quite a bit of combat, but violence effects are limited mostly to "clouds" and "dizzy stars." Players will also see a bit of potty humor, including fart and burp animations. Online communication can be controlled in the game's options menu, where parents can choose to allow kids to text from a game dictionary of approved words. Parents should also know that although this is a web-browser game the player's experience will be improved if you choose to download game files, which will eliminate long loading times.

What's it about?

MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD ONLINE is based on the television series of the same name. Players get to take on the roles of characters from the show while exploring familiar areas and battling villains. There is also a trading card game that has the characters battling it out as you play the cards, as well as a house (the helicarrier) that kids can decorate where collected characters live.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Marvel Super Hero Squad Online has managed to hit all of the things most kids like to do in games. There are objects to interact with in the landscape, superheroes to collect and level up (each superhero has his or her own special animations and power attacks), and places from the television series that they can explore. Plus, the game is wonderfully easy to play, offering both keyboard and mouse controls. Kids who are fans of the Marvel Universe and of the Super Hero Squad show will particularly enjoy this game.

Parents should know that there are three components to the game: the free game, the paid subscription, and gold coins that parents can purchase for kids so they can unlock portions of the game or characters they want.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about superheroes. What is your favorite super power? What would you do if you had super powers?

  • Families can also talk about violence. Does a game like this feel less violent than others of its kind because there's no blood? Does cartoon violence have less of an impact on you than live action violence?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Price:Free / $9.95 monthly / Microtransaction
Available online?Available online
Developer:Gazillion Entertainment
Release date:July 18, 2011
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
Topics:Superheroes
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief

This review of Marvel Super Hero Squad Online was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byMegablader November 24, 2011

I think of the game

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byiCallum December 8, 2011

SHSO Review

It's a fun and easy MMO to play, simply? What more can you ask?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written bySinisterDol September 23, 2014

Great Free-To-Play Superhero Game

My children and I have had a great deal of fun playing this together. It has a surprisingly solid co-op mission system with well designed boss battles.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use

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