The Hunger Games Adventures
By Erin Bell,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Movie/book spin-off emphasizes survival and building.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about how political power structures can create divides between the rich and the poor as they explore poverty-stricken District 12 and interact with its down-trodden residents. Quests can help kids develop empathy; for example, kids will find food for a starving girl, and treat workers injured in a mining accident. These are the same themes explored in the film and books, but they've been watered down. The surface treatment of the social issues that made the game's source material so compelling dampens its impact.
The game echoes some of the same provocative themes as the books and film (such as inequality and poverty) but to a lesser extent. The emphasis is on survival, helping others, and outwitting representatives of the oppressive government.
Positive Role Models
Players receive guidance from several positive role models, including courageous Katniss, brave Gale, and kind Peeta. Many of the quests involve helping the less fortunate, such as finding food and water for a starving girl, or repairing a collapsed house.
Ease of Play
Gameplay is simple enough to learn for people used to playing Facebook games, but it's sometimes unclear how to acquire certain items needed for quests.
Violence & Scariness
By avoiding the Hunger Games setting, the game lacks the same level of graphic violence as its source material. There are references to violence -- Gale talks about how his father was killed in an explosion. Players defeat monsters by shooting them with arrows to "banish" them -- there's no blood; the defeated enemies simply flinch and disappear.
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Products & Purchases
Facebook Credits (which cost real money) can be used to speed up the game by instantly unlocking quests or refilling your energy bar. Players can unlock and play songs from the movie, and follow a link to buy the songs on iTunes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the characters, Haymitch, is described as a drunk. However, the very first quest players do for him is to refill his flask -- with coffee.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Hunger Games Adventures is a social game played on Facebook. It's based on The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games film, but does not depict the Games themselves (where 24 teens fight to the death in a brutal version of reality TV). Instead, gameplay focuses on life in District 12 where players learn survival skills like harvesting, hunting, and crafting. The game is free to play, but players can use Facebook Credits (purchased with real money) to advance faster. The game is still in beta, so it remains to be seen whether the story will eventually take players into the Arena to participate in the Hunger Games themselves.
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The Hunger Games Adventures
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What’s It About?
In THE HUNGER GAMES ADVENTURES, players explore the impoverished District 12, interacting with familiar characters like Katniss, Haymitch, Peeta, and Gale. They'll harvest resources, clear debris, and build structures (like an archery range, tent, and workbench) to outfit a forest hideout. Like CastleVille, players unlock new areas of the map by spending resources and completing quests. Quests include basics like learning how to trap food and trade for supplies, as well as meatier objectives like fixing a collapsed house, finding missing children, and helping to feed a starving girl.
Is It Any Good?
The Hunger Games Adventures shows promise, but it's hard to tell from the limited beta version currently available whether the full-featured game will live up to the hype of the books and film. As it stands, social interaction is limited to Friends sending each other items requests. The bleak world of Panem is rendered in moody detail, and characters bear the likenesses of their movie counterparts. The number of quests is limited, but many do tackle the social problems of a poor district with themes like hunger and dilapidation. The game could use stronger tutorials, a functioning map, better social features, and more quests -- all of which will hopefully arrive in the newest updates.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the post-apocalyptic setting. What survival skills would it be important to learn if you found yourself in a similar environment?
Families can also talk about what features, quests, and characters you would like to see added to the game in future updates. Players can even email the developer with their feedback by completing a beta tester form that automatically pops up when they've completed all of the current quests.
Do you prefer to play games on Facebook versus on the console? Why or why not?
- Platform: Facebook
- Subjects: Social Studies: exploration, power structures
- Skills: Emotional Development: empathy, Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Funtactix
- Release date: March 30, 2012
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Book Characters
- ESRB rating: NR
- Last updated: August 29, 2016
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