A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Victorious: Hollywood Arts Debut is a casual adventure game for tweens based on the TV show Victorious. The game teaches lessons about positive thinking and self-confidence. There is some comic mischief in the form of pranks: for example, a student who has to use the bathroom is handcuffed to the stairs. A girl is punched in the face during a play rehearsal and appears to receive a black eye, which turns out to be faked with make-up.
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What's it about?
As the newest student at the prestigious arts school Hollywood Arts, players must deal with the usual social pressures of high school (such as friends, rivals, and relationship drama). Players tap the screen to interact with characters from the show in order to help them out with their problems. Players also take part in rehearsals, performances, and other challenges through six mini-games that involve dancing, guitar playing, dramatic improvisation, drawing, staging, and serving food at the Grub Truck. By collecting stars, you can unlock new outfits to wear.
Is it any good?
Victorious: Hollywood Arts Debut communicates positive messages and role models for tweens. Kids can choose to be male or female, and select from different skin colors and body types for a diverse range of character customization options. Each chapter of the game plays out like an episode of the TV show, with some sort of drama that eventually gets resolved with the player's help. Gameplay consists of a series of "go here, pick up that" quests that aren't at all challenging, thanks to giant green arrows that show the player exactly what to do next. The only real challenge comes in playing the mini-games, which can also be enjoyed separately in Arcade mode.
Fans of Victorious should get something out of Victorious: Hollywood Arts Debut as long as they're OK with basically participating in a mildly interactive TV episode (with some fun mini-games thrown in), and don't expect a full-fledged adventure game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendship. In what ways is it good to have a strong network of friends? What qualities do you look for in a friend, and in what ways can you be a good friend to others?
Families can also talk about bullies like Jade. Why do some people like to play mean pranks? What are some strategies for dealing with bullies in school? How about online cyberbullies?
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