A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While there are characters who send friendly messages in text-driven dialogue, the primary focus is to show toughness and beat enemies as quickly as possible.
Positive Role Models
You have the option to play various characters, but their only goal is to beat other characters into submission.
Ease of Play
The game is quite easy to jump into and play, with two difficulty levels (Normal and Ultra), but gameplay is based around fast reflexes, and the challenge ramps up quickly, requiring fast fingers to survive.
Violence & Scariness
Features fantasy violence where defeated characters are knocked out. When defeated, a static image shows up on-screen that may show broken teeth and closed eyes. No blood or gore displayed.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ultra Space Battle Brawl is a downloadable arcade game for Windows PCs. Players battle head-to-head with a computer-controlled character or another player, or they can team up and play against up to two other players on the same machine. Combat features fantasy violence with gameplay similar to Pong, and when characters are defeated, an image appears on-screen with its eyes closed and sometimes broken teeth, but without blood or gore. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.
Is It Any Good?
Meld the two-dimensional gameplay of Pong with a dash of Street Fighter, and you have a throwback game that offers little variety but plenty of challenge. Ultra Space Battle Brawl uses the idea of a kid battling for glory (in the Story mode) by taking on others in an arena battle that's mostly borrowed from Pong. The Street Fighter elements come into play in the setup, the three-round match concept, the artwork, and its cheesy take on the background music. Where the game falters with story and variety of basic gameplay elements, it does attempt to make up for it with different maps and different skills that require fast thinking and quicker fingers to counter.
USBB also features pixelated retro graphics with bright and colorful art, and music that's a mix of Indonesian "house music" and 1980s-style synth. It works, but it gets old quick. There are a total of 10 playable characters, and players are tasked with working through the arena battles to unlock new places to fight across. But perhaps the biggest problem with the game is that while it works as a test of your reflexes and the maps do vary, the gameplay's the same thing over and over. That's great if you enjoyed Pong, but if you're a player that's looking for something a little deeper, USBB won't fit that bill for long. It's a good tribute game that's too shallow to keep you coming back for more.
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.