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★★★ Open House ★★★
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© 2018 Epic Games, Inc.

CTR Review
Ease of Use
Design Features
Reviewed using the Standard Rubric
For ages 12-up
$free with IAP, Xbox One, Windows, Mac OSX, PlayStation 4, iPad, iPhone
Teaches: spatial relations, teamwork, shooting, weapons
They're not supposed to play it -- in theory -- but children as young as five are playing this "free" well designed 'Teen' rated first person PVP (Player Vs. Player) shooter, with plenty of automatic weapons. Here's what the mobile (iOS) is, and how it works.

After you download the app (there are also console versions with different features) you are required to set up an account, and agree to the terms of use. Next, you skydive onto an island, where 100 other players are also landing. You can also play in Squad mode, where you team up with others.

There are many choices on where you land -- from small towns to factories or farms. The theme changes each month. Once you land, it's every man (or woman) for him/herself. To win, you must move quickly, hide, build structures and kill as many other players as possible. When you make a kill, you get your victims stuff. But if you are killed, you can watch as an observer -- as your killer hunts for (or becomes) the next victim. This an effective teaching strategy.

Your goal is to survive, and kill others so that you're the last person alive. We were impressed by the building tools and the number of clever hiding places. Your chances of surviving, and your looks increase if you spend real money. If you win, you get to perform your own custom dance for the others.

For mobile (only available for iOS as of April 2018) you download the app for free. After you register (fake accounts work) you get a plain avatar with regular weapons. You soon learn that you can purchase more gear or clothing in a store using IAP packs for as much as $99 real dollars. The console version also contains "packs" of content, consisting of loot and/or weapons. Fortnite comes from North Carolina based publisher Epic Games, who also produces the Unreal 4 game engine which powers Fortnite. Note that there are several versions of the game for different platforms, and it is possible to pass the same game between different platforms.

Need to know: There is no blood, but there is plenty of realistic sounding automatic weapons, with snipers; and the central theme is killing people (not unlike games like Assassins Creed or Halo). Be sure to watch the tester footage to make sure you're OK with this concept. We were able to start playing with a fake account. Gender features are amplified on the avatars who also represent ethnic diversity. Not all the female characters are unrealistically thin.
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