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Parents need to know that “FIFA 20” is the latest installment in the long running soccer franchise for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The game builds on the content of the previous year’s game, while also including a new street soccer mode for players that don’t always want to play in arenas. There’s no inappropriate content within the game, although the unmoderated gameplay during online matches could expose players to inappropriate content. Players will find product and company logos are on characters, as well as ads posted on billboards along the sidelines of the pitch. The game also comes in three separate modes, with each providing unique content, and while players can play to earn credits for the Ultimate Team, they can also pay real money for new gear, athletes, and items.

Parents need to know that “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” is an action/adventure game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s a remake of the 1993 Game Boy game of the same name. The game has a cute cartoon presentation and some mild fantasy combat that sees Link using a sword, arrows, and bombs against cartoonish fantasy creatures such as giant spiders and skeletons. There’s no blood, gore, or graphic content. Link’s a traditional hero, helping those in need, using his wits to solve puzzles, and defending himself from aggressive monsters. Figuring out what to do next can be a bit tricky in some areas, but kids may take away the lesson that perseverance pays off, and learn to approach problems as fun puzzles to be solved. The dungeon maker missions could inspire creativity and an interest in game design. Players can also use amiibo that are sold separately to unlock additional content.

Parents need to know that “Wargroove” is a turn-based, fantasy strategy game with a Japanese animation aesthetic available for download on the PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Windows PCs. It contains a multiplayer mode that can be played locally or online (players are randomly matched with opponents or can search friends with a friend code) and offers voice chat through popular online voice chat service, Discord. Discord users are automatically connected to the online “Wargroove” community, which means they could be exposed to profanity, inappropriate conversations, and bullying. Built in tools let players create and share their own maps and mini-movies online; to do the latter, players must agree to the game’s EULA (End User License Agreement) which states that while developer Chucklefish is dedicated to protecting kids from exposure to content deemed obscene, racist, or bullying, user-created content isn’t monitored by the company. While players use swords, catapults, and other weapons to destroy opponents, the pixel art of the game eliminates the possibility of blood and gore being shown, and defeated enemies simply vanish from view.

Parents need to know that “Dragon Quest Builders 2” is a creative building experience for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The game is a sequel to 2016’s “Dragon Quest Builders,” and has a focus on building wrapped within an old-fashioned Japanese role-playing game. The player’s customizable avatar takes on quests — such as building a house or sowing a field with seeds — from non-player characters, then goes out into the world to gather resources and fight monsters using magic and melee weapons. Combat’s mild and viewed from a raised perspective, with monsters disappearing quickly after being defeated. Strong themes of friendship, community, and providing help to those who need it run throughout the story, with subplots showing how people — including villains — can change for the better if they embrace the right ideas. Players also get to exercise their imaginations and be creative as they freely build not just what other characters have requested, but anything they like by crafting the elements they need and assembling them according to their whims.

Parents need to know that “Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled” is a cartoony racing game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Players use missiles, bombs, and boxes of TNT to take out the competition, resulting in explosions, crashes, and, in some instances, characters being lit on fire. But all of this is done with a silly, cartoony look and feel. There’s also some juvenile humor: A character picks his nose and eats it, and seagulls use some rocks as a bathroom. Otherwise, there’s no sex, cursing, or references to drugs and alcohol, save for what you might hear if you play online, where communication isn’t monitored.

Parents need to know that “Super Mario Maker 2” is a game about making games exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. It provides players with tools and tutorials to create, edit, and share their own side-scrolling “Super Mario” levels. Players will be part of a moderated community of game makers encouraged to support and provide positive criticism on each other’s work through a system of likes and text comments. The cartoon violence is limited to what players encounter in most side-scrolling “Mario” games, with player characters hopping on goombas and koopa troopers, kicking shells off the screen, throwing fireballs at enemies, getting poked by spikes, and being burned by flames. Keep in mind that the difficulty is largely unpredictable, with both Nintendo-designed and player created levels ranging from short and very easy to longer and extremely challenging. Note, too, that a Nintendo Online membership is required to access online features.


Parents need to know that “Yoshi’s Crafted World” is a run and jump adventure for the Nintendo Switch with an arts and crafts theme and a cartoonish smiling dinosaur serving as hero. Players work through dozens of short levels attempting to find lost gems to restore an artifact that can make people happy by realizing their dreams. Yoshi runs up against standard-issue Nintendo bad guys — including shy guys, koopa troopas, and Baby Bowser — along the way. He can jump on and flatten these enemies or suck them up with his long tongue and then pop them out as eggs. A multiplayer mode allows a pair of players to control individual Yoshis and cooperate as they work through the game together. It’s designed to be accessible for younger players, with straightforward objectives and puzzles, plus an easy difficulty setting that should let even inexperienced kids play through the campaign without too much trouble or confusion.


Parents need to know that “The Lego Movie 2 Videogame” is an open-world style action/adventure game available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. The game is based on the feature film of the same name, with players loosely following the events of the movie. Themes of friendship, teamwork, and helping others take center stage with players helping out characters by completing requests and missions. Players use a variety of special tools to scan, paint, and build Lego items, using their “Master Builder” skills to overcome obstacles. It’s a drastic change from previous Lego games and a more challenging and creative experience. There’s a fair amount of cartoonish violence and destruction, but nothing extreme or graphic. Instead, defeated enemies and destroyed objects simply break apart into Lego bits before vanishing from the screen.