What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Battle Nations is a war-themed strategy game that has a heavy story component. The game features violence that is a bit more graphic than some strategy titles (for instance, one soldier, armed with a flamethrower, hoses down opposing forces with a flood of fire), but there's no blood or sounds of suffering -- and dead soldiers simply disappear. There's mild offensive language and a multiplayer mode where children can exchange notes with friends as well. The game markets in-app purchases fairly aggressively. While no building or action specifically requires nanopods, not using them can mean waiting several minutes or hours for the action to be completed, rather than seconds. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
What's it about?
Players will face off against enemies by selecting a unit, whose range is shown on screen, then selecting a target by touching it. Enemies and soldiers have hit points, which are reduced when they are attacked. When those points hit zero, they disappear/die. The game also has players build a base through a menu system and gather resources to continue construction, all done through a series of screen touches and menu selection.
Is it any good?
After playing BATTLE NATIONS for a few minutes, you'll quickly wish this wasn't a free app. The game is fun, even with its hit-and-miss humor and extended narrative, but if you choose not to buy "nanopods" via in-app purchase (which can run up to $50), you'll quickly get frustrated by how long it takes to get things done. It's a frustrating financial play that comes at the expense of the game's fun factor -- and could have been avoided with a free and paid version of the app.
That's a shame, since the game itself is put together well. Resource gathering is well-done and the battles are well-designed. Even the characters are fairly engaging (for the most part). And the inclusion of a multiplayer mode gives the game extra life once you grow tired of (or finish) the single player campaign.
Families can talk about...
Play board games like Stratego or chess to give kids a chance to exercise strategic thinking.
Help kids practice resource allocation in real life. Encourage them to be fiscally responsible and thoughtful when budgeting money they receive as gifts, allowance, or from working.