Other Choices: ClubTuki, Shockwave, Fight My Monster
Education: Some games offer the chance to practice math, logic, and other skills.
Synopsis: Kid-friendly game site could use more educational stuff.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that although the games on Friv are from other sites, links to other areas on those sites are disabled, so kids should stay on Friv.
- Families can talk about how much time you should spend on playing games online -- and how much time you should spend playing offline. Check out our guide on how to set screen rules that stick to determine gaming time limits.
- Friv's games are fairly tame, but some game sites contain items that are meant for adults, not kids. How can you tell if a site has safe games -- or if you shouldn't be playing them?
- A lot of video and online games contain violence, like shooting or blowing things up. That may seem OK in a virtual world, but it's not OK in the real world. Talk about how you can resolve disputes peacefully in real life. When you argue with someone, why is violence the last thing you should ever use to try and settle the issue?
What's the story?
FRIV offers dozens of free games -- which are generally fine for kids to play -- without tons of pop-up ads or commercials. Site content is sparse; game names appear when you scroll over each image on the homepage, but there isn't much else to help guide you through the site. The games come from other providers, so quality and instructions can be inconsistent. However, Friv appears to have disabled any links to additional games or other items on each offering, so kids shouldn't end up accessing something totally inappropriate after playing.
Is it any good?
The most information you'll find about FRIV is a search engine description that says it's "a safe place to play the very best free games." The site itself contains almost no text -- the homepage is comprised of dozens of tiny images that link to games users can play. The lack of written information may initially seem suspect, particularly because game sites, due to violent or otherwise inappropriate content, can often be a concern. However, Friv's selections are mostly safe. Some games can be a little confusing to figure out; clearer instructions would help. It'd also be great to see more games that encourage kids to use logic and reasoning to solve puzzles and advance levels -- offering a bonus bit of education when kids are getting their game fix.
The Good Stuff
Messages: One game involves a women-owned business; others can help kids learn about responsibility and time management -- and encourage them to set and reach goals within the game.
Educational Value: Some games offer the chance to practice math, logic, and other skills.
What to watch out for
Violence & scariness: Some games involve ghosts and magic. Guns aren't a major part of the site, but ships shoot at each other using cannons, and a zombie game encourages users to kill and infect humans -- but it's relatively gore-free.
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: You may see the name of the site that created the game before you play it, but there aren't nearly as many ads as most game sites. Games aren't preceded by ads, and the site isn't filled with them.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue