Digital gamesWhat fascinates kids about Brawl Stars?
What is Brawl Stars?
In the colorful cartoon game environment, players can compete against each other in various modes. Battles are possible alone or in teams. In keeping with the name of the game, the characters are called "Brawlers". They differ in appearance, strength and weapons depending on the game state.
The game modes have to be unlocked bit by bit. In each game mode, the players*innen have a different task. For example, the goal of the "Solo Showdown" mode, which is unlocked at the beginning, is to be the last of 10 players to survive. Other game modes include Knockout and Bounty Hunt. A game round always lasts only a few minutes, regardless of the mode. To communicate with each other in the game, users can create or join clubs.
What fascinates kids about Brawl Stars?
- Brawl Stars is easily accessible, it can be downloaded for free from the various app stores.
- Brawl Stars appeals through its child-friendly and clear visuals as well as popular characters or brawlers.
- The short and varied game rounds lead to quick successes.
- Popular game modes such as Battle Royale are used.
- Reward system: For winning rounds, players receive rewards in the form of tokens or coins, which can be used to unlock "lootboxes". This provides a constant incentive to continue playing. Winnings also earn you trophies and allow you to advance in a league.
- Team play: Brawl Stars can be played as a team. The shared sense of achievement with other players contributes to a positive gaming experience.
Tips for parents
You would like to allow your child Brawl Stars? Then you should keep the following in mind:
- Accompany children attentively in everyday life to recognize possible signs of excessive play behavior in time. Limit the playing time and make sure that fixed playing times are adhered to. A media use contract negotiated by the family can be helpful.
- Turn off push messages that keep reminding children to play in the device settings.
- Determine whether and to what extent in-game purchases may be made by the child, with what payment methods and caps (e.g., pocket money). If you do not want to allow in-app purchases, you can prevent them on the device.
- Discuss rules for online communication with your child. Make them aware of contact risks, such as unwanted contact(cybergrooming) or inappropriate communication behavior in chats(cyberbullying).
- Show your child the help area and the reporting options for inappropriate content in the app.
Brawl Stars risks in detail
No uniform age recommendation and age verification.
Brawl Stars is available as an app for all mobile devices free of charge in the respective app stores. In Apple's App Store, the age recommendation is nine years. According to the Play Store (Android), children aged twelve and older can play the online game. Important: These age recommendations are not based on an official review. The Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) has not tested the game. The pedagogical game advisor NRW recommends Brawl Stars from ten years of age. According to the General Terms and Conditions (AGB) of the manufacturer Supercell, parents must agree to the AGB if children have not yet reached the "minimum age of your region". Exactly what age that is is not stated in the T&Cs. Those who have not reached the minimum age and also do not have their parents' consent are not allowed to use Brawl Stars. In everyday life, however, this has no effect. Brawl Stars does not check the age of the players.
The multiple incentives in the game (rewards, lootbox mechanisms, leaderboards) can encourage excessive gaming behavior. Children who develop a high level of ambition while playing are particularly susceptible to addictive gaming behavior. If friends play as a team, the social pressure to succeed can quickly increase usage times.
Cybergrooming and cyberbullying
In Brawl Stars, players* can play together online by creating or joining clubs and communicating via chats. Chatting is not the main focus of the game, but there is still a risk of contact initiation by other players(cybergrooming) due to the chat function. Hate speech or cyberbullying can occur during chat communication.
Cost traps through in-app purchases
In order to advance the game flow, game advantages can be purchased through paid in-app purchases. However, the lootbox mechanism does not always guarantee that the desired advantage will materialize. This mechanism can be compared to the well-known sticker bags for scrapbooks, where you don't know in advance whether existing stickers will be purchased. To make the whole thing a bit more opaque, there is an intra-platform currency (jewels, coins and star points) that is based on real money.