Spy Hunter

 

Learning(i)

Average arcade racer is full of car wrecks and weapons.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The focus is on car combat with high-speed action and explosive destruction. The main theme is violence, but of a kind that is both fantastical and without human casualty.

Positive role models

There aren't really any people in this game, save teammates who occasionally appear via a communication system to offer advice. They're nice enough, providing tips and encouragement to players, but not really the stuff of role models.

Ease of play

Like its arcade-based predecessors, this game comes with a high degree of difficulty that players can't change. The path to success is paved with many failed objectives and mission restarts. Patience is required.

Violence

Players engage in vehicular combat involving not just collisions but also weapons including machine guns, flamethrowers, shotguns, electrical shocks, and mines. People are never shown injured; all players see are explosions and damaged vehicles.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Players will be exposed to mild profanity, including "damn" and "hell."

Consumerism

This game is part of the long-running Spy Hunter franchise of games.     

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No safety concerns. Players can play multiplayer games, but only over ad-hoc networks with friends. Online play with random strangers is not possible.

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

What Kids Can Learn

Spy Hunter wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • sports

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building

Spy Hunter wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

User reviews

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS
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 (Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita)

This review of Spy Hunter was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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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