Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players are simply trying to survive while completing missions and harvesting resources. There are some elements of teamwork available, but players can also break truces almost as quickly as they make them.
Positive Role Models
The game doesn't really have any sort of heroes or villains, as players are freelance prospectors working for anyone willing to pay. Enemies are either robots, creatures, or other player-controlled characters, all of which ultimately see you as a target.
Ease of Play
Gameplay's relatively straightforward and should be instantly familiar to fans of first-person shooters. Controls can also be easily customized via the in-game settings.
Violence & Scariness
While the game's a shooter, complete with a wide range of weapons, there's surprisingly little blood. Shooting the creatures shows occasional splashes of orange, blue, or glowing alien blood, while shooting other players shows flashes and sparks. Defeated players end up frozen and encased in a foam-like material.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Although there's no profanity built into the game's dialogue, the game's online nature could potentially open players up to offensive content and dialogue via in-game chat or player tags.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The game is free-to-play, offering players the opportunity to buy various cosmetic items (weapon skins, outfits, etc.), Founder's Packs, and other items from the in-game shop.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Cycle is a free-to-play, online "Competitive Quest Shooter" available for download on Windows-based PCs. Players participate in large online matches, working to complete quests and collect resources while teaming with or defending against other players. The game's free-to-play, with various cosmetic items available for players to purchase via the in-game shop. While there's a heavy focus on shooting, it's surprisingly light on blood or gore, with defeated players locked in place trapped in a foam-like substance. Although there's no profanity baked into the game's dialogue, parents should be aware that its online and competitive nature could still expose younger players to offensive language via in-game chat.
Is It Any Good?
Most shooter games rely on either racking up a high body count or, in the case of battle royale games, being the last person standing. The Cycle, though, isn't like most shooters. The game's main focus is questing, fulfilling random contracts within a set time, and getting to the dropship, making it back off-world in one piece. This makes for some interesting gameplay in practice. You might go an entire match never firing a shot at a fellow Prospector. In fact, you might form a pact with one or two of them to improve your odds of survival. Of course, human nature being what it is added to the competitive aspect of trying to top the leaderboard, you're just as likely to be hunted down as you are to be teaming up. While defeating other players doesn't score any extra points, it can eliminate some of the competition and also open up opportunities to swipe more resources, complete more objectives, and secure higher rankings at the end of a match.
Fortuna III makes for a colorfully diverse arena to compete in. The planet's a sort of patchwork of environments, thanks to the alien terraforming and the human exploration. One minute, you're harvesting mushrooms in a lush forest and the next, you're crawling through an abandoned mine tunnel to sneak past other Prospectors. You can even hitch a ride on a flying drill platform and scope out the competition from higher ground. There's a wide range of weapons and abilities at your disposal at any given time, assuming you've got the credits to spend for a supply drop. Each of these feels distinct and powerful, filling certain roles within your chosen playstyle. The Cycle manages to meld the best elements of competitive shooters with the best parts of RPG questing to provide a unique and fun twist on familiar formulas, carving out a niche for itself and paving the way for a whole new genre of online action.
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.