A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Spy Hunter is an action-racing game involving high speed, lots of car-wrecking collisions, and a large arsenal of weapons. That said, the violence is highly unrealistic and focused solely on the vehicles; players never see anyone get hurt. Parents should also be aware that this game isn't for the easily frustrated. It has a high learning curve that may deter kids accustomed to games where players experience more success than failure.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
SPY HUNTER for PlayStation Vita is a reboot of the nearly three-decade-old arcade classic. Players assume the role of a secret agent driving an interceptor sports car souped-up with a large arsenal of weapons designed to blow enemy vehicles off the road. The game plays out over a series of point-to-point missions, beginning with a few simple chases. Mission complexity quickly evolves, with challenges that involve calling in and guiding air support, taking your car off-road and through watery zones, and manning a turret mounted to the top of the truck the interceptor travels in. As play progresses players earn credits they can spend on weapon upgrades and car customizations. Outside the story mode lie local multiplayer games via ad-hoc connections.
Is it any good?
Spy Hunter offers a challenging and old-school arcade experience that ought to appeal to fans of retro combat racers. The focus here is squarely on action and speed, with a small but satisfying between-mission dash of RPG-style growth and upgrades. It'd be nice if strategy weighed in a little more -- mission success sometimes seems to be at the mercy of luck -- but the overall experience is recommendable.
Sadly, the action is marred by below average presentation. The vehicles, environments, and special effects are all pretty low fidelity, especially in the case of the Vita version, which has plenty of processing power. Still, Vita and 3DS owners starved for a little road action may squeak out enough fun to make it worth the investment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the dangers of driving recklessly. Have you seen pictures of the results of careless and daredevil driving? What would you do if you were in a car in which the driver wasn't obeying the rules of the road?
Families can also discuss the notion of facing a challenge. How do you feel when you overcome minor obstacles compared to major? Is the satisfaction worth the effort, or do you prefer enjoying many small victories rather than working up to a bigger one and experiencing failure along the way?
How do you go about finding the best games?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita
- Subjects: Hobbies: sports
- Skills: Communication: friendship building
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Games
- Release date: October 16, 2012
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and Trucks
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Language, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.