System Flaw

Common Sense Media says

Creative use of the DSi camera in mild alien shooter.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There are things out there that we can't see, but which can hurt us. This message can be seen either as paranoia-inducing fear-mongering, or as a helpful anti-germ, hygeine message.

Positive role models

As the hero, you are saving the world from a threat it doesn't even realize exists. There's a selflessness in taking on the responsibility yourself, without wanting to frighten the general populace.

Ease of play

The controls are simple and the action starts off very easy.The game gets much, much more difficult as it goes on, but the challenge factor rises on a gradual scale over the course of 99 levels.

Violence

Tiny floating aliens (some of which are no more than blobs, but others have hair, fangs, and are a bit scary looking) are blasted with lasers. Blasted aliens vanish with a sizzle and a pop. Some let out a cry as they are obliterated. Some of the boss creatures have body parts (tentacles, etc.) that need to be destroyed individually.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this high-concept first-person-shooter game takes place in the real world, but then adds a fantasy element. Wherever the player is -- at the mall, in the backyard, in his or her bedroom, etc. -- that place will be infested with little blob-like aliens. The DSi's camera is used to create an enhanced reality, in which players feel as if they are looking "through" the DSi and shooting aliens that are right in front of them. Any other people around the player will also be seen in the game, meaning that a player may end up blasting lasers at or around his little sister, the pet cat, or you (or anyone else). Parents should also be aware, though, that this is the first DSi game that can truly be considered "active gaming." As players need to constantly shift their line of sight, move forward and back, and spin around to get aliens behind them, the game is impossible to play sitting down.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In SYSTEM FLAW, the world is being invaded by tiny nano-creatures. The beastly little things are flying all around us, but invisible to the naked eye. You, the player, are given a special device (your DSi), through which you alone can see the aliens -- and blast them to oblivion. The game takes place in wherever you decide to play it, as you patrol your real environment, following a radar to find the nano-monsters that may be on your bed, in your kitchen sink, or hovering around your brother's head.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The concept of System Flaw is spectacularly unique. By using the DSi as both a viewer and  a weapon, you're forced to move around constantly. The game takes place in three dimensions, so you're not just shifting the DSi left and right, but aiming it up and down as well. And spinning around in 360 degrees. There are even some monsters whose attacks you need to dodge -- physically. The action is fast and frantic, and while you can argue that the graphics are less than state-of-the-art, there's no denying that the System Flaw experience is a wildly fascinating one unlike anything video gamers have seen before.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the concept of "enhanced reality" games. How does it affect your playing experience if you feel like you're really in the game? Could there be negative effects? In this game in particular, do you like the idea of fighting aliens in your own home, rather than in some computer-generated landscape? Or does that make this game a little off-putting?

  • This is a shooter game where you are killing little blob-like aliens. How does this violence compare to other violent media?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Storm City Games
Release date:December 2, 2009
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:E for Fantasy Violence (Nintendo DSi)

This review of System Flaw was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 10 year old Written bybrain in a can October 28, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

shooter game wihtout violence.

There is nothing wrong with the game (except a sprinkle of violence), but its a pain in the rear to find online. We spent about 6 weeks trying to find this. And it was worth it.
Kid, 11 years old September 30, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Great for shooter fans and DSi fans, perfect for both.

Its a perfect shooter game with no gore or langauge, and its way more realistic than like COD but witout all the gore and blood. Very creative, too.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old May 26, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Awesome Alien Shooter. Pretty Satisfying.

Cool game! It's amazingly easy to play. The entire game control consists of 2 buttons, and some touch screen control to select levels and stuff. It's like putting a classic arcade game to a different dimension. I love that I get to play it in my own home, watching them hover around the TV as my sister watches it. Plus, it's 360 degrees, so it's really immersive. Story line's also cool. Sometimes the director curses about the aliens. It is true, however, that the levels get harder and harder. The swarms of aliens get bigger and bigger, and it gets to be hard to take care of all the aliens at once.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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