Robot Combat League

Common Sense Media says

Robot fighting competition highlights engineering fun.

Age(i)

2
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5
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7
8
9
10
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show highlights how science and technology can be interesting and fun. The scientific knowledge, training, and creativity that goes into the robotics field is also underscored. Competition is a big part of the show, but it's all in good fun.

Positive role models

Contestants are from various walks of life and must work as a team to succeed. Sometimes they exhibit competitive behavior, but nothing out of line.

Violence

No human blood or gore, but there are lots of sparks and hydraulic fluid as the robots fight to the end by punching, pushing, and other human maneuvers. Robots have names like "A.X.E.," "Crash," and "Robo Hammer" to highlight their fighting skills.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Words like "ass," "crap," and "screwed" are audible.

Consumerism

Microsoft X-Box and Roku are sponsors of the show. Subscribers can stream the series.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Robot Combat League features large humanoid robots fighting in intense tournaments on behalf of their human operating teams. While lots of attention is paid to machine combat, the series highlights the latest robotic technology, as well as the kind of fun you can have with it. Robots are made to punch, push, and engage in other destructive maneuvers. Mildly competitive behavior is featured, and words like "ass," "crap," and "screwed" are audible. X-Box and Roku are sponsors of the show.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

ROBOT COMBAT LEAGUE is a competition series featuring human-controlled, state-of-the-art robots engaging in arena combat. Hosted by WWF wrestling star Chris Jericho, the series features 12 teams of two people with backgrounds in areas like engineering, software development, elite athletics, and even race car driving, who are assigned a specific 8-foot-tall humanoid robot created by robot expert Mark Setrakian. While one team member acts as the "robo-jockey" (a human fighter controlling the robot with a high-tech exo-suit), the other serves as the engineer or "robo-tech." The contestants must learn to communicate with each other in order to take control of their robots and guide them to win rounds of fight tournaments in order to stay in the game. The team who successfully guides their robot to a final victory wins the $100,000 cash prize.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While robot fighting competitions aren't new to TV, RCL offers a fun way of learning a little bit more about how large humanoid robots -- including those used in film productions -- actually work by throwing them into a fighting ring. The Gladiator-like competitions get exciting, too, thanks to lots of screaming spectators and observations offered by play-by-play commentator Dave Farra.

There are definitely things to be learned here, including how developing and working with this technology is often done in teams, and the importance of creativity and strong communication skills. Some folks may find the notion of fighting machines a little off-putting, but science and technology buffs will definitely find it entertaining.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about robotics. What kinds of skills do you need to build a robot? Did you know that there are robot leagues and other organizations dedicated to teaching about science and technology by helping kids build robots? What other ways can people make learning fun?

  • Is promoting activities like fighting a good way of making something entertaining? Why or why not? Should fighting and/or other scenes featuring aggressive behavior in the media be considered less violent if it doesn't incorporate humans and/or it doesn't show blood?

TV details

Cast:Chris Jericho, Dave Farra, Mark Setrakian
Network:Syfy
Genre:Game Shows
Topics:Robots
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of Robot Combat League was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byhklover14 March 10, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

girls

In episodes people say curse words but not sexual
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent Written bytitanius719 February 27, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Lots of fun and Camaraderie

If your kids are very active and like sports, Robot Combat League is an excellent alternative to MMA. There is some violence, but a lot more of the attention is paid to the bonds between the engineer and the robo-jockey, not to mention the technology itself. I work at DISH, but I used to be in special effects, and I was left speechless after watching the first episode last night. I would normally have waited until I got home to watch it because I am out of town, but I never have to do that now that we own a DISH Hopper. It lets me watch all of my DVR recordings and live television right on my phone, so I no longer miss my favorite programs no matter where I am.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Parent Written bynerdalert February 25, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Robo Techs are role models

I think the positive role model rating should be reconsidered. Many of the robot techs are very accomplished engineers and robotics experts. Almost all of the techs are involved in some kind of charitable work with kids or underprivileged kids to teach robotics. I should know, because I am one. I'd be honored to have my children hang out and learn from any of the Robo-Tech cast members on the show.
What other families should know
Great role models

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