A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site features a limited amount of arcade games -- and most of them are jam-packed with violence. Lots of hand-to-hand combat: fists flying, knives slashing, blood-squirting action. There are many variations of the shoot 'em up games with the player controlling guns, grenades, automatic weapons. (The specific goal of one game is: "…clean up the woods, have fun killing all of these nasty inferior beings.") The one thing this site has going for it is the graphics are simple and on a small screen. Therefore the gore intent is there, but definitely has its limits. And there are a few harmless games sprinkled in. Google ads abound; to the left…to the right…at the top…on the bottom. Some are tricky too; they boast names of games, but are actually links to ad pages.
What's it about?
Kids can play a limited amount of games on this site -- most of which are violent. Some are more tame with fish eating smaller fish, for example, or a look alike of our old friend asteroids (Pixel Blaster). There are a few innocent ones: Mini-Putt for golf practice or Marbles that navigate through a maze trying not to bump into barriers. Then there's the brainteaser Stackopolis, where players race the clock to match a computer-generated pattern. The site is a Google Ad extravaganza. The ads are not only on each side of the gameplay screen, they're also cleverly disguised as links to more games. Banner ads also accompany pages throughout the site.
Is it any good?
What REALGAMES.COM lacks in quantity, it sure doesn't make up for it in violence. Gunmaster, ALIAS: Artificial Lifeform Intended for Assassination and Sabotage, Tailspin, Heli Attack…you get the idea. The graphics are old-school and on a small screen though, so even though the gore is there, it's not depicted in a realistic style. However, these games do include players holding shooting weapons, controlling vehicles that destroy things or people, and use of fists to plummet people (with multiple blood squirts for extra effect).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what is appealing or not appealing about violent games. Is there a difference in feeling if the shooter is the player versus being pursued by the game engine itself? Are there games out there just as exciting that don't include killing people or destroying things? Families might also want to watch our video featuring tips for safe online gaming and talk about setting time limits on the computer.
Our editors recommend
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.