A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Star Fox Guard is a "tower defense"-style strategy game that's included with a copy of Star Fox Zero for Wii U or downloaded separately as a digital game from the Nintendo eShop. Players are tasked with defending a base instead of actively attacking opponents, and enemies are mostly robots. Players set up weapons to take down invaders, such as turrets and bombs, to defeat attackers. The game should be intuitive to tower-defense-game veterans, but the Wii U controls aren't entirely simple to manage. This is also part of a long-running franchise, which covers games, figurines, and other research.
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What's it about?
STAR FOX GUARD for the Nintendo Wii U is a single-player "tower defense"-style strategy game. In it, you are tasked with defending a number of bases owned by Slippy Toad's uncle, Grippy, from oncoming robotic attackers. Similar to games such as Five Nights at Freddy's, much of the game has you monitoring security cameras. Between the TV screen and the Wii U GamePad controller, you'll place, monitor, and upgrade more than a half-dozen robot-blasting guns throughout the dozens of progressively more difficult missions and side missions. Some of these stationary weapons shoot enemies, while others can freeze the robots before the waves of baddies can fully infiltrate the base. Some of the robots are combat-based, bent on destroying your base, while others tamper with your camera feed, such as blocking your view or showing you fake footage to throw you off. Available as a second disc with Star Fox Zero, this separate game also features an editor mode that lets you edit the behavior of enemies and share them with other players online.
Is it any good?
An interesting fusion between tower-defense strategy games and security-camera monitoring, this Nintendo Wii U game proves more enjoyable than the "main game," Star Fox Zero, it was bundled with. Like many other tower-defense games, you'll experiment with placing turrets and other items to pick off the waves of enemies infiltrating your base. There are different kinds of enemy robots to deal with. The game gets progressively more challenging as you advance and take on side quests, and there's an editor to tweak the behavior of the baddies and share your creations.
With more intuitive controls than the main Star Fox Zero game, Star Fox Guard also benefits from smart artificial intelligence (AI). Don't expect stellar graphics or a compelling story -- but free is free. And when you start thinking more about this bundled bonus adventure than the game it shipped with, you know it's done something right.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in Star Fox Guard OK because it occurs against robots and isn't bloody or gory?
Talk about game creation. Does the level editor that's included with this game make you interested in building your own stages? Are you more interested in the mechanics behind a game once you've played around with a level editor?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U
- Price: $59.99 (included with Star Fox Zero)
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: April 24, 2016
- Genre: Strategy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Pirates, Robots, Space and Aliens, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy 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.