Clash of Clans
What parents need to know
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 kids can learn
Engagement, Approach, Support
The ability to battle live opponents and guard against those attacks is one of the game's biggest draws.
Players are able to learn from their defeats through watching the attacks on their villages.
Well-defined rules and an ample supply of resources early in the game let players get comfortable before it gets harder.
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?
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.