Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Shockwave Website Poster Image
Fun, free games -- but be prepared for some product plugs.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 6 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic skills like spelling, reading, problem solving, and patterns by playing games on the site that focus on those skills. Game categories include puzzles, strategy, time management, and words, so skill-based games are easy to find. The "Family & Kids" section has skills-based games for younger kids. Focused on fun, Shockwave has hidden educational gems.


Some games involve zombies, vampires, and other creepy characters; in others, players shoot cannons. But the violence typically isn’t very gory.


A streaking game features a character with a black bar over his groin area trying to avoid getting caught while running through sporting events.


The site says posts that aren’t “R-rated” will appear shortly after being submitted -- which sounds like they’re being reviewed. However, words like “damn” and creative spellings like “f***ck” can slip through. Users are able to report abuse.


Ads for cable TV/Internet services, cell phones, and other products are on each page, and many free games are preceded by ads. Some games are also based on book and movie characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although some games feature violence -- for example, driving over zombies in a hearse -- most Shockwave games are pretty tame. You need to register to comment on the games; however, you can play them for free. Kids need to be 13 or older to sign up for a free membership. And they only get one shot: Enter anything younger than 13 and then try to register again with an older age once, and you'll be denied. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to


User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old May 30, 2012

Great for responsible kids.

This site does have a little mix of good and bad games, but nothing too bad! Just have an adult you trust pick out the games you can play! I noticed ads, they w... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old September 11, 2011

Kisharoo's Review on Shockwave.

Personally, as a young ten year old child, I DO play the game. However, my mother looked over the website and told me which games I could and could not play. Th... Continue reading

What's it about?

SHOCKWAVE -- owned by Viacom, which also owns MTV and Nickelodeon -- features more than 1,800 word puzzles, car racing, and other games. Games are either played directly on the site or downloaded. Easy-to-understand instructions are available on each page; however, most young users should be able to figure out how to play without having to read anything. Registered users can share their thoughts about games in comment posts. Basic registration is free; paid memberships offer extra amenities, including ad-free games.

Is it any good?

SHOCKWAVE.COM was founded in 1998 and has been owned by MTV/Nickelodeon’s parent company Viacom since 2006. Users can play strategy, adventure, word puzzle, and other games for free on the site -- although there’s a 60-minute daily limit -- or pay to download individual games (prices start at 99 cents). You can also opt for a paid subscription, available for $9.95 a month or $59.40 a year, to ensure kids will bypass the site’s frequent ads. And Mac users, take note: Many of the downloadable games only work on PCs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how some of the site games start out with a commercial. But there's other advertising on the site, too. Did you notice companies promoting their products on the site in other ways?

  • Can you play games and use a site like this where there are a lot of ads without feeling like you have to buy anything?

  • Should you set time limits on using a site that offers dozens of games? How much time is too much time to spend online? How can you mix up time using the Web with time playing outside or doing other activities?

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