Looking to jump out of a bus and swoop down onto an island full of danger, loot, and people with crazy dance emotes? Fortnite is the latest battle royale shooter that has gamers pulling their hair out in the best of ways.
Fortnite is published by Epic Games. It’s available on consoles, PC, and also iOS. There are actually two games in one here. There’s a PVE mode ( definition) that the game started out with, but that’s not what anyone is talking about when they talk about Fortnite.
There’s a Battle Royale mode that’s PVP ( definition) that most kids (and adults) are loving (and by “loving,” I mean they are going nuts trying to win).
The objective of the game
Be the last player standing out of 100, either in squads, duo play, or solo. As the game progresses, a “circle” of energy slowly tightens around the players, shrinking the game space. Part of the primary gameplay involves staying within that circle.
Build cool things, evade other players, shoot other players, loot all kinds of supplies and cool items.
Level of violence
This game is technically a PvP shooter. There’s gun violence. However, before you get too upset about this, realize that there’s no blood or gore. The art of the game is very cartoony.
It’s not overly sexualized, either. The female and male characters all dress appropriate to the storyline. It’s also very cool that until you start buying “skins” (outfits for your characters), your player character is randomized.
The gameplay is somewhat frenetic. Characters ride a flying bus to an island and drop off into near-instant combat. Players can use one of several strategies to attempt to win, but often, it comes down to who has collected the most materials (wood, stone, metal) and who can build best and fastest. It also helps to build up a supply of bandages or med kits and shield potions. The weapons are important, but not AS important as the materials and health supplies.
This game on console (and I believe on PC) allows for in-game microphone-based chat. It means that players might receive the typical party requests and friend requests on console, and/or that there’s the potential they’ll be subjected to whatever people feel like blurting out over a microphone.
Secret Messaging Potential?
Not any more so than console and PC games have. There’s no secret private messaging system here in this case.
What might be tricky for some players
This game offers up a LOT of opportunities for kids to get upset. The feeling of gathering up all kinds of equipment and materials only to be killed by something somewhat random and have to start the whole process over again can be upsetting to some.
In squad or duo mode, if you are the weak link, you might hear about it from your teammates.
Beyond that, there seem to be a lot of preteen and teens in this game. Older kids and adults tend to play Playerunknown Battlegrounds or other shooter games. It’s not that there aren’t adults playing, but it’s not exactly an environment that’s toxic to “squeakers.” ( definition)
Does this game cost money?
The base PVP game needed for Battle Royale is free. The PVE game (which is totally fun for completely different reasons) costs money.
There are in-game purchases. They are all cosmetic in nature and aren’t required for gameplay. Some kids will want to buy skins ( definition) just to appear a bit more “established.” That’s up to you. They’re not necessary, but they might make a kid feel like they fit in a bit.
Why would a parent/grown-up say no?
Technically, the game IS a shooter. There are guns. Pistols, machine guns, rifles, shotguns, crossbows, and rocket launchers, to name a few. Like I said before, the game isn’t BLOODY, but there’s violence. It’s not Tetris.
Why would a parent/grown-up say YES?
Fortnite is a graduation step after Minecraft. If a kid/player feels “too old” for Minecraft, they’d like the building aspects of Fortnite, and they might appreciate the fighting elements. In squad and duo mode, there are opportunities to feel camaraderie and team building.
I think Fortnite is one of the most harmless of the “shooter” video games out there. It falls into the category of Splatoon on the Nintendo Switch (and Wii) where the gameplay emulates more violent games without the bloodshed and realism. Unless your player is easily triggered by mild violence or unless you have an absolute hard stop “no guns” rule for games, I recommend this game.
Disclaimer: This information is meant for entertainment purposes only. Every child is different. You never know what will be triggering or upsetting. Make your own judgment.
Stay up to date with all this stuff!