A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Super Bomberman R is a strategic action-battle game. The gameplay involves players running around a maze-like stage, placing time-delayed bombs near objects. The bombs explode in multiple directions, destroying obstacles and knocking out both enemies and other players, although the game's cartoonish style lacks any sort of graphic violence, with defeated opponents simply flying off the screen. The game has simple and intuitive controls, though the AI-controlled opponents can be tough to beat, even on easier difficulty levels.
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What's it about?
In SUPER BOMBERMAN R, White and the rest of the colorful Bomber Brothers family have been called up to stop the latest scheme set in motion by the evil Emperor Buggler and his crew, the Five Dastardly Bombers. It's up to these eight highly volatile heroes to liberate the five main planets of the Starry Sky solar system from Buggler's rule and save the universe from his dark domination. Players can fight solo or co-op against Buggler and his minions in Story mode, which has more than 50 stages, or duke it out against one another in the game's competitive Battle mode. The game has support for up to eight players via local or online play, and the action is frantic and fast-paced.
Is it any good?
This action game maintains the fast-paced explosive action that the franchise is known for, but its lack of depth is more of a dud than a bang. Super Bomberman R stays true to form with the classic, chaotic gameplay that fans have loved for more than 30 years. Gameplay is as straightforward as ever, with players dropping bombs and dodging explosions in last-man-standing matches between mundane minions, epic bosses, and, of course, other players. Despite the simplicity of the gameplay, though, it's still surprisingly hard. While playing against live opponents is always unpredictable, the computer-controlled opponents are never a cakewalk. You can almost hear the AI laughing at you as it skillfully dodges its way through your best-laid traps, even on the easiest difficulty settings. It can get a little frustrating at times, especially when you're fighting through the 50 or so levels of the game's main story. It doesn't help that you have to spend in-game currency to continue, chipping away at your ability to unlock other content.
Speaking of the game's content, Super Bomberman R isn't exactly bursting at the seams with material. On the upside, the game comes in a nice little package, with sharp and colorful visuals coupled with cute and cheerful sounds. On the downside, while there's some variety in the Story mode stages, the Battle mode (where players likely will spend most of their time) feels almost anemic. The multiplayer mode only comes with eight standard maps at the start. Players can unlock 10 "Special" stages with the in-game currency, but most of these are only slight variations of the standard stages. Players can activate some of the options in the Battle mode, such as Revenge or special abilities, but there's not much that genuinely feels like it alters matches in a significant way. That doesn't mean the multiplayer isn't fun, particularly when you have some friends together in Local or Online matches. It just means that, as with much of the rest of Super Bomberman R, it can get fairly repetitive fairly quickly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in media. What makes violence more acceptable when it's cartoonish slapstick versus more realistic portrayals?
Talk about sportsmanship and competition. What are some good ways to foster friendly competition? How can someone practice being both a good winner and a good loser in a competitive atmosphere?
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