A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Products & Purchases
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.
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.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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.