Clash of Clans App Poster Image

Clash of Clans

Multiplayer mode enlivens freemium combat strategy game.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn to strategize and learn from their mistakes. Defeating enemies is not simply a matter of having the most troops. They must be deployed smartly, or you will lose. Similarly, watching footage of enemies storming your village can instruct players on how to deploy resources to win battles. It's similar to a football player watching game film to better his performance. Clash of Clans doesn't offer a deep learning experience, but players will be able to practice strategy and reflect on their decisions.

Ease of play

The game gently walks you through the early levels, with a focus on single-player. By the time players venture into the multiplayer arena, they have a good understanding of what's necessary. 

Violence

The game is classified as an action/strategy title for a good reason. Although you spend some time building up your village, the game is more about attacking NPC (non-player character) goblins or the villages of other players to loot gold and elixir. There's no blood, but, when your troops are killed, they scream and briefly become ghosts, and then tombstones are shown on the ground. 

Sex
Not applicable
Language

A live chat presents the opportunity for iffy language, though the game has a well-defined system to report users. 

Consumerism

The game gives players a good stockpile of resources at the start of the game, but the longer you play, the harder they are to find. Players are likely to be tempted by the in-app purchases for gems; they range from $5 to $100. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Clash of Clans is a strategic action game that pits players against both artificial-intelligence characters and real-world opponents. The app's license agreement requires all players to be at least 13; teens 13 to 17 are supposed to have a guardian agree to the terms, but it's on the honor system. There are frequent battles with explosions and the cries of defeated soldiers, but there is no graphic violence. The game's core component is its multiplayer mode, wherein players can attack the villages of other players (and defend their own), but they don't communicate with each other directly when these attacks occur -- though there is a global and intra-clan chat functionality when players are in their own villages. Fortifying a village and building an army cost money, and the game uses in-app purchases to help players buy in-game currency to upgrade quicker. 

What's it about?

It's all about resources in this game. You'll spend your in-game cash on resources, such as cannons, shelter, and decorations, and then attack other camps to gain money, which you'll spend to get more resources. What makes CLASH OF CLANS unique is the mix of artificial-intelligence enemies and the ability to battle real-world friends and foes. When real-world enemies destroy your village, you're able to watch a replay of the battle to observe their tactics and shore up defenses for the next attack. (It's also worth noting that even if your village is destroyed in battle, all major buildings remain undamaged from your perspective, though you will need to rearm traps.)

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Clash of Clans doesn't make any dramatic changes to the strategy formula, but it does make just enough refinements to recapture the genre's addictive elements. Players are on a familiar treadmill, building a base and attacking others, but the introduction of the multiplayer element and the ability to see exactly how your defenses were overcome (battles happen independent of the gameplay you see) let you learn from your mistakes. And, for players who don't want to take part in player-versus-player combat, there's a strong solo campaign. 

The game gives players an adequate amount of resources to start, but, to really build a powerhouse, they'll ultimately need to rely on in-app purchases (or be extremely lucky in battles). This free app also has been one of the top-grossing apps, so many users do opt to purchase gems with real money. The AI of your troops is frustrating, though. (They'll be looting a building and be seemingly unaware that they're being fired upon.) Also, the time it takes for buildings and upgrades to be completed can get frustrating. Overall, though, this is a fine choice for strategy fans. 

Families can talk about...

  • Encourage teens to play real-world strategy games, such as chess.

  • When teens fail at a task, have them review it mentally and determine how to improve their performance next time.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free (with optional in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Free (The app is free to download and play, but players can buy gems via in-app purchase; packs range from $5 to $100.)
Release date:November 6, 2013
Category:Strategy Games
Size:50.20 MB
Publisher:Supercell
Version:5.64
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Clash of Clans was written by

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Parent of an infant year old Written byMamaKatRN May 21, 2014

Interaction with Clan - Beware

This game is great fun. I play it. However a large part of the game is joining a clan. This review is inaccurate in stating that there is only a global chat. Players are also able to chat and interact with members of their clan. I try to make sure that the clan I am in is only for adults, but often I see children ages 8-12 join these clans. It can be harmless, but parents do not know who their children are interacting with, or even what type of content their children are being exposed to by playing a game with other adults who are strangers. I would just make sure you know that your children are playing this game and that there is the potential for chatting with adults in a clan group chat.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 10 year old Written bymrh73 August 19, 2014

It's all about what clan you join!

First off, this is an excellent game that both kids and adults will enjoy - a great father-son diversion, but it can become somewhat addictive. You may soon find yourself adding new accounts to other devices (e.g. your wife's phone). If you refrain from spending real money on it (which I have), it's also a lesson in careful planning and patience, as well as basic arithmetic. Clan vs Clan Wars promote teamwork, communication, and philanthropy. The minimal violence isn't any worse than what kids see in cartoons or Skylanders games. The only possible objectionable content is the open chat. There are two kinds of chat that you can toggle between: Global and Clan. You can report foul language in the Global chat and get people temporarily booted from the servers, but there's no reporting function when chatting within your own clan. This makes the clan your child is in the real deciding factor in whether or not they should be playing the game. Fortunately, lots of clans have filled this need and you'll find plenty of "clean" clans full of fathers and sons, clans which advertise "No cursing allowed" (and offenders are quickly given the boot), clans of school chums, etc... If your kid joins up with a clan of college-age gamers, though, look out! Keep an eye on the chat thread in your child's clan (there's a buffer of the last 100 messages) until you're satisfied the members don't curse like sailors, and this game will provide many hours of enjoyment for you both.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Too much swearing
Parent of an infant and 11 year old Written byEablade June 1, 2014

Unable to keep people from entering closed games

I think the chat feature of this game is horrible. The fact that anyone can jump into a closed game and use profanity, then as a parent you are unable to report those users, is a huge red flag. Even for teenagers the verbiage I witnessed may be inappropriate for them since there is no way to block unwanted users.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns