Spare Parts

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Spare Parts Game Poster Image
Minor violence in robot combat game; can play co-op.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While the game itself has a foundation in violent actions, the cooperative elements, as well as the minor puzzles involved in navigating the various levels, are handled in a positive manner. The overall mission is to repair an abandoned spaceship, so the overarching mission is a good one. There is also a central intelligence system that will instruct players, on occasion, and the tone is kept very positive.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The goal of the game is to repair the ship, and the core characters work hard to do just that. There is an enemy that is trying to stop them, and the environment is somewhat hostile. While this is not a cut-and-dried good-versus-evil scenario, the lead characters are good.

Ease of Play

Spare Parts has a gentle learning curve, starting with levels that challenge in terms of navigating the environment to collect the ship parts and coins. The levels become gradually harder as more upgrades are obtained. The controller scheme is somewhat intuitive. In co-op mode, the enemies get tougher and working together is essential.

Violence

In Spare Parts, players take on the role of a robot and battle bugs in the environment as well as other robotic enemies. The bugs and biological lifeforms explode in a fountain of goo, while the enemy robots blow apart into nuts and bolts. Collectible coins are left behind that can be used in the in-game store to buy upgrades for the characters or concept artwork.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

All the elements within the game are fictitious products that have no basis in the real world.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Spare Parts is a downloadable arcade game available from the PlayStation Network or the XBLA LIVE Arcade store for a price. Up to two gamers can play the game in a cooperative setting, but each will be required to have his or her own controller. Online match-ups are also available for cooperative play, and require an active Internet connection. The game has minor violence and animated goo (when killing bugs), involves combat against creatures such as bugs and robots, and requires players to learn a number of combat tactics to succeed against numerous enemies that attack all at once.

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What's it about?

SPARE PARTStells the story of robots Mar-T and Chip, who are stranded on a strange and dangerous planet along with a broken space ship.The two robots must find the missing parts to repair the ship, fight, or avoid the minions of the evil Lord Krung (who is intent on stopping them) as well as fend off the various creatures that inhabit the world.There are creatures and robots to fight, collectibles to find, and even other robots to rescue on the various levels of the game. Along the way, the robots will unlock upgrades (such as rocket boots that allow for short bursts to elevate the robot), as well as be graded on each level completed.

Is it any good?

Spare Parts is a visual treat, and the action is fast and furious. The levels are well designed, though relatively short, and the overall mechanics should be familiar to anyone that has played a platforming game before. The game begins as a single-player effort and then expands into cooperative play, both offline and online. The online was enjoyable, though several levels played were lost due to disconnects by the host. The narrator speaks in a tone that suggests the game was made for kids. There is really nothing innovative or fresh in this game; still, it is fast paced, looks very nice, and is particularly entertaining in its cooperative mode.

Online interaction: Cooperative gameplay is available, online or offline. During online portion, players can get into a quick level with a player chosen at random or manage invites. There is no direct communication between the players within the game.

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Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Price: $9.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Electronic Arts
  • Release date: January 19, 2011
  • Genre: Arcade
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Animated Blood, Mild Fantasy Violence

For kids who love games where they get to be someone else

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