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The Cycle

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
The Cycle Game Poster Image
Space shooter focuses on co-op and story-driven quests.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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.

Sex
Language

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.

Consumerism

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byXhyv September 7, 2019

The best game

I know that it says it is 13 and up but it is not really
Teen, 14 years old Written byTJs765 September 10, 2019

What's it about?

Greetings Prospectors, and welcome to THE CYCLE! Fortuna III is a planet teeming with untold riches in the form of rare mineral and unique fauna and flora. As a freelance Prospector, your job is to explore the planet's surface, collecting material and data to fulfill contracts for different representatives of the Federation. Unfortunately, the alien terraforming technology that led the planet to serve as host to these valuable resources has also caused a catastrophic instability in its ecosystem. The planet is periodically battered by massive radioactive storms, covering the planet in radiation deadly to any non-native interlopers … interlopers like you. So you'd better get in, get what you need, and get out, making your way to the EVAC zone and returning with your completed contracts. Just remember that you're not the only Prospector on Fortuna III with contracts to fill. You might stumble across someone willing to lend a helping hand … or someone just waiting to stab you in the back. And at the end of the day, you've got to do it all over again. After all, we don't call this "The Cycle" for nothin'.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about teamwork and competition. Do you prefer to team up with other players to work toward a common goal, or to work alone and compete with others to test your abilities? What are the benefits to both?

  • What are some ways to handle confrontations in online multiplayer games like The Cycle? What are the advantages and disadvantages to starting conflicts with other players?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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