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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Symphony wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.
The game doesn't contain much messaging since it's a music-focused arcade space shooter with a loose story wrapped around it. You spend your time shooting enemy ships.
Positive Role Models
There is no information about who you are in the game. You are just the "player" who is tasked with destroying evil.
Ease of Play
The arcade shooter is very easy to play, employing a mouse and keyboard combination to move your ship and fire at enemies.
Violence & Scariness
You shoot enemy spaceships and other objects but there are no aliens for you to see, plus there is no blood, gore, or realistic explosions.
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Only if the music on your computer contains profanity or suggestive lyrics will you hear it in the game.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Symphony is an arcade space shooter set to your own music. You spend your time shooting at alien ships, but no aliens are shown being shot, just ships. Players see flashes of light representing the shooting. The deep voice and enemy eyes seen at the start of the game might bother some kids.
Is It Any Good?
Symphony is good, but its gameplay isn't unique -– save, maybe, for working with your existing music collection. You'll see your ship at the bottom of the screen and must fire projectiles at various enemy ships. You can move your ship around on the battlefield, which is necessary to avoid enemy fire and collect the power-ups and other items left behind by fallen ships. While it's more apparent in some songs over others, the enemy ship movement is tied to the melodies and beats of each song, rather than simply playing your music in the background. While it's a single-player game, Symphony offers a per-song leaderboard so you can compare your scores with others, plus there are 30 achievements and medals to unlock. Over time, you'll unlock new weapons, power-ups, achievements, and other items; repair and customize your ship; and defeat tougher bosses.
The fast-paced and family-friendly game is accessible and fun -- but repetition sets in after a few songs. Sure, upgrading your ship and earning medals serve as dangling carrots, but don't expect to stay engaged for long periods of time. Instead, Symphony offers a quick arcade shooter fix, set to your own music. The $10 game can be downloaded at EA's Origin network, GOG.com (Good Old Games), Playism, and GameSpot's ImpulseDriven.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.