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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that DomiNations is a strategy game that lets players complete missions alone or in online leagues with friends or anonymous players. The app's license agreement requires all players to be at least 13. The game has players build their own civilizations and help them advance through history from the Bronze Age to the Industrial Age. To succeed, players build their own towns and battle neighboring civilizations. It's very difficult to advance without the heavily encouraged in-app purchases, and there's lots of bloodless violence.
What's it about?
DOMINATIONS is a typical time-and-resource-management game similar to Game of War - Fire Age. Players are placed in prehistory and have to build a civilization and carry it -- in theory -- from the Stone Age to the Space Age, though the current version doesn't go beyond the Industrial Age. The first level is a tutorial that introduces players to world-building tasks and how to manage budding communities, including providing food and shelter, managing financial resources, training soldiers, and launching attacks against neighboring civilizations. Teens can play alone, with friends, or with other, anonymous players using a chat feature. One aspect that sets it apart is that in each Age, players get to pick a specific "Wonder" -- Stonehenge, Hanging Gardens, Pyramids, the Acropolis -- and then have their burgeoning nation take on the aesthetics of the culture associated with the landmark.
Is it any good?
For fans of this type of game, the graphics and historical elements might be enough to satisfy, but the pay-or-wait model is frustrating to many. If you can work around frustration over either having to spend money or wait patiently for structures to be built and soldiers trained, this is an immersive gaming experience that pulls elements from the best of similar titles, has spectacular visual appeal, and has enough variation to keep age-appropriate players invested for a long time. However, it's critical to talk to your teen about whether or not purchases are OK and whether they're allowed to play in a league, using the chat feature.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about online safety rules, especially in terms of talking to strangers using the game's chat feature.
Talk about the role of war and of hunting in ancient times compared to modern times. What were the advantages and disadvantages of hunting for food?
Discuss the historical accuracy of ancient and early-modern civilizations in the game.
Set expectations for in-app purchases before downloading.
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love strategy and history
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.