Dawn Break: The Flaming Emperor

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
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Generic adventure heavily pushes in-game purchases.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; auto-play button make winning a snap.


Constant battle; no dead bodies, no blood.


Busty heroines, recruiting heroes by "who you'd like to date." Players "pet" female fairies to make them happy.


Constant reminders to shop; "events" are really ads for buying more stuff.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dawn Break: The Flaming Emperor is an anime-style free-to-play role-playing game (RPG) with a strong emphasis on in-app purchases. Throughout gameplay, players are reminded to visit the shop, to take part in purchase-heavy events, and to buy monthly subscription cards. The game features some busty, sexy female characters, and players are asked which one they'd like to "date." While there's a constant focus on fighting with weapons and magic, there's no blood, and no bodies remain on-screen when enemies are defeated. It also has friend functionality and an unmoderated chat window where players freely interact. The app's privacy policy details the kinds of information collected and shared. To read the privacy policy in full, visit the app developer's official website.

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What's it about?

DAWN BREAK: THE FLAMING EMPEROR features a mysterious woman fallen from the stars in a typical anime-style storyline where Dark versus Light heroes battle it out for control of a magical fantasy kingdom. Gameplay includes a host of glamorous collectible heroes, lots of cool-looking outfits and gear, and tons of explosions and sparkly effects. Players progress by fighting their way through the story campaign and unlocking further game modes (both versus and co-op). Controls feature virtual buttons and a virtual thumbstick, as well as an "auto-play" button that lets gameplay become almost 100 percent noninteractive. The emphasis is on collecting: heroes, outfits, weapons, currency.

Is it any good?

This generic game is another entrant in the seemingly endless parade of mediocre anime-style fantasy role-playing games. It can be tough to differentiate Dawn Break: The Flaming Emperor from other games in the genre due to its stylistic quirks, but this one gives new meaning to the term "cookie cutter."

It's sad to say that, in a way. So much work goes into making these games -- even the mediocre ones -- that you have to give the makers credit for pulling them off at all. Still, competition is fierce, and you'd think they'd do more to help their games stand out. There are only two things that make Dawn Break: The Flaming Emperor stand out, and neither of them are good. First, there's the dialogue. Dialogue occurs in Japanese with English subtitles, and poor translation and frequent typos make character exchanges range from the inadvertently amusing to the totally bizarre. Far worse than the language issues though, is the relentless pressure to buy something. Ads pop up the second you fire up the game, and the main menu is packed with purchase-centric submenus. You're constantly prompted to collect things and sign up for monthly subscriptions. If you can ignore these things, the app has all the elements anime RPG fans have come to expect: the sexy heroines, the androgynous boys, the corny humor, the over-the-top special attacks -- but it's just not enough. Add to that the frequent crashes that occur just as battle's starting, and you've got a sugary, run-of-the-mill role-playing app that's not worth the calories.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing. How often should a game push players to buy something?

  • Think about what makes one role-playing game better than another. Is it the heroes? The rewards? The combat? The effects?

  • Discuss the pros and cons of games having an auto-play button. Is there a point to calling a game a game if you don't actually have to play it? Does it save time if you can fight through meaningless fights to get into the larger, more significant battles?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love role-playing games

Themes & Topics

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