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What is Fortnite: Battle Royale

In short, it’s a mass online brawl where 100 players leap out of a flying bus on to a small island and then fight until only one is left. Hidden around are weapons and traps, and players must arm themselves while exploring.

When was it released?

Fortnite started in July 2017 as a four-player cooperative survival game, but the game’s developer, Epic, noticed the huge success of PC title PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), which pits 100 players against each other, and decided to release a new version.

How much does it cost?

The game is free and players are able to unlock new items as they progress without paying anything. A Premium Battle Pass gives access to exclusive clothing and items. However there is an in-game currency, V-Bucks, which players can use to buy additional custom gear. It is how this currency is paid for that has become the centre of a dispute between Fortnite’s makers and Apple and Google.

Why is it so popular with kids?

It’s free, it’s fun, and it has a very silly, offbeat sense of humour. While PUBG has a serious, realistic visual style, Fortnite: Battle Royale has very bright, almost cartoon-like graphics, as well as loads of ridiculous items and costumes, such as space suits and dinosaur outfits. Players can pull a variety of dance moves, and team up with a friend to compete as a duo or a squad. Participants can chat as they play using headsets and microphones.

Is there violence? And is it addictive?

Although Fortnite is a multiplayer shooter, it does not depict bloody violence. It takes lots of enjoyable gameplay concepts from more mature shooting games but places them in a non-threatening, non-realistic world. In terms of addictiveness, Fortnite contains nothing that makes it different from other action video games. It’s more that the game contains many different elements – nice visuals, good shooting mechanics, an interesting building component and lots of support and interest from YouTubers – into one package that is free to download.

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