Nex Machina

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Nex Machina Game Poster Image
Unrelenting, addictive old-school shooter tests reflexes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players need to be quick if they want to rescue people, survive.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Hero is not only tasked with surviving, but with rescuing people as well.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn, but game difficulty increases over time.


Players use guns, swords, other weapons to destroy enemies, but there's not much blood, no gore, dismemberment.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nex Machina is downloadable arcade-style shooting game. While players destroy their enemies with guns, swords, and other weapons, there's only a little blood, and no gore or dismemberment. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content, save for what you might yell when you get killed, again. Similarly, the game is easy to learn, but the increase in difficulty will challenge the skills of some players.

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What's it about?

As an arcade shooter, NEX MACHINA doesn't have a story. Instead, you're thrown into a series of gun battles on what seems to be an alien world full of robotic spiders and other enemies who want you dead. Besides taking them out with extreme prejudice, you also have to rescue some fellow humans who are walking around these battlefields for some reason.

Is it any good?

By going for fast-paced arcade action, the end result of this downloadable game is an unrelenting, addictive top-down, twin-stick gun game. While other action games from this developer (Alienation and Dead Nation) were driven by narrative, and had elements of role-playing games, Nex Machina is a pure arcade experience, unencumbered by exploration or plot or anything that might get in the way of you shooting everything that moves. By having you move with one thumbstick, while shooting an endless stream of bullets from the other, you're given a slim chance of surviving as spider-shaped robots and other enemies attack you from all sides. Good thing you can do a quick dash move, and can grab power-ups that provide you with a secondary weapon or a shield. Just don't forget to rescue the people who are standing around the battlefields; they're counting on you

While the result is an addictive and unrelenting arcade shooter, this game's emphasis on skill over story might not work for fans of the aforementioned Alienation and Dead Nation. Especially if they liked how those games had stories, let you explore their respective worlds, didn't give you an endless supply of bullets, and had moments where you could catch your breath. But for those looking for something more arcade-y, something where it's more about surviving and scoring, Nex Machina is great for trigger-happy gamers who appreciate gaming's arcade roots.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Given that all of the violence in this game is directed at non-humans and robots, do you feel any differently about killing them? Why do you think that is?

  • Talk about saving people. In this game, you may have to do something risky to save someone, and doing so is rewarding, but do you think it's worth it? Try playing without saving anyone. How do you feel now?

  • Discuss simplicity. While this game is relatively simple, it's also lots of fun, so what does this teach about things not needing to be complicated to be effective?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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