A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Certain games encourage kids to think critically and make logical choices. But there are also some questionable messages. In one game, a child runs from police after painting graffiti in a train yard. Players are also asked to kill someone's ex-wife in a game in the Sniper Games section.
Violence & Scariness
A number of games feature stabbing, shooting, killing, blood, other violent elements. The amount of blood, gore, violence, and combat varies from game to game.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A Kissing Games section briefly features an animated character who's topless, with her arms covering her chest; games in this section encourage players to make their character sneak kisses, and some show still images from other games that appear to be racier.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
A number of games feature ads, and they're also on the internal pages of the site.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Kids can mix and serve cocktails in a bartender game.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Poki is a gaming website that offers thousands of games for players. Players will see ads in numerous games along with ads scattered across the entire site. Gamers can also easily find and play games that involve shooting, killing, and other violent acts -- the level of violence varies based on the game that's being played. Several sections contain dubiously themed games that involve punching, a character trying to steal kisses without anyone seeing, and other scenarios. Some characters are also shown topless or in other racier imagery, and players will serve drinks in a bartender game. Users can only click on a thumbs up or down icon, though, to indicate whether they like or dislike a game; they can't post a comment about it, which helps keep swearing and other inappropriate content off the site -- and games don't seem to link to external developer websites that could potentially contain objectionable content.
Is It Any Good?
While this site offers a variety of games from many developers, the quality of the games can be inconsistent, with some lacking clear (or any) instructions, which reduces the fun for the site. Poki presents a large collection of games that can be played in a browser in a visual setting, with images showing off the newly added options. But making the info for each title more consistent so that the text communicates what gameplay involves, what keys make characters move, and other important information would help gamers decide what they want to play -- and understand how to get started. Adding information that explains which titles reinforce math, strategy, and other skills would also help younger players get more out of their gaming experience.
That said, the site does have a decent number of games to play, and some can be entertaining. Players can, for instance, access online versions of classic board games like Connect 4, try their hand at soccer, or try to win a matching game. In addition, users can't comment, and games are played within the browser, which should mean younger players won't end up on a site with free-for-all content. But Poki wasn't designed specifically for kids -- and while there are some age-appropriate games, kids can easily find options that feature shooting, animals stabbing other animals, and other questionable imagery. Given the number of violent games and ads, parents may not be particularly eager to let their children spend much time on the site without discussing which games they plan to play; even taking that approach, supervising kids' usage would probably be a good idea. Poki may give players access to loads of games, but its lack of info, questionable quality, and heavy amount of violence mean that only older gamers should take a look with parental guidance.
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.