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The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Loud House: Outta Control is a time and route management game for Apple Arcade that's based on the popular Nickelodeon animated TV show. Players set and manage paths walked by the show's kids -- a typical bunch of brothers and sisters with individual interests, such as swimming, sunbathing, and playing on their phones -- in small, crowded spaces while trying to keep them from walking into each other and getting into fights. Fights are shown as clouds of dust, flailing limbs, and stars and exclamation marks. No one's shown getting hit or hurt. Characters become angry when they bump into each other -- they make faces, yell, and sometimes do things like throw pies -- but these encounters typically end with the characters making up and smiling. The underlying message is to be thoughtful and respect personal space.
What's it about?
THE LOUD HOUSE: OUTTA CONTROL puts players in control of Nickelodeon's The Loud House siblings as they try to stay out of each other's way in crowded rooms and environments. Players simply drag their fingers across the screen to draw walking routes for each kid. The objective is to direct them to specific items and activities, such as a pile of comics or a sink full of dishes they need to clean, while maintaining personal space. If they bump into each other, they'll yell and squabble -- one might even throw a pie -- and the level will end. Complicating matters are "fight clouds" that occasionally tumble across the screen. If the kids get too close, they'll be drawn into the fracas and forget about their goals. Players interested in not just passing levels but also achieving high scores can take on the added challenge of directing the kids to grab point-boosting cardboard boxes. Trophies awarded for stellar play -- such as a pair of red victory underpants and a grandma's sweater (items fans will recognize from the show) -- can be viewed in the house's attic between levels.
Is it any good?
Spin-off games don't get much more run-of-the mill than this. The Loud House: Outta Control is explicitly meant to please the show's audience. It features the same voices and cartoon presentation as the show, and it's filled with recognizable locations and collectibles that will have meaning for fans (and probably no one else). It plays on the show's premise -- a crowded house filled with kids constantly bumping into each other and getting into squabbles -- in a simple but satisfying way, making a game out of maintaining personal space in a crowded area. Kids unfamiliar with the show will likely lose interest quickly, but those who watch are bound to enjoy what they see, hear, and do in the game.
That said, the rough-around-the-edges action may eventually grow monotonous even for the show's biggest fans. While levels gradually grow in challenge, the objectives and mechanics remain more or less the same. Even if you enjoy drawing and redrawing routes at the start, there's a good chance you'll become a bit bored before reaching the game's end. You can tap a fast-forward button to speed up time and reduce waiting, but that also increases the risk of collision. Complicating matters, a couple of the colors assigned to specific characters are almost indistinguishable, making it easy to confuse them when things get hairy. And there's a space along the screen's edge that you can't see but that acts as an invisible barrier when drawing paths. This can prove especially frustrating when you need to quickly reroute characters on a collision course with each other. The Loud House: Outta Control isn't the sort of game that's worth an Apple Arcade subscription all on its own, but if you're already a subscriber and a fan of the show, there's little harm in taking it for a spin.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen time. The Loud House: Outta Control's levels last only a couple of minutes each. Can you be satisfied playing just a few short levels before moving on to something else?
Why is it important for people to have their own space with a sense of privacy and security?
- Platforms: Apple Arcade
- Pricing structure: Free (This game is included at no extra cost with an Apple Arcade subscription ($5/month).)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nickelodeon
- Release date: March 6, 2020
- Genre: Time Management
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: April 2, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.