A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
The available character choices represent some diversity in who you can choose to send into the dungeons.
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Ease of Play
The instructions offer some information, but all gameplay aspects aren't described in detail.
Violence & Scariness
Kids fight random monsters guarding the door to the death. Blood is sometimes shown as a result of attacks.
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Products & Purchases
Kids can -- but aren't pressured to -- buy three packages that offer some extra abilities.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dungeon Faster is a card game for iOS and Android devices. Creatures strike kids, and kids hit them back using a sword, fire, and other weapons. While enemies are eliminated, only a little blood is shown. The game instructions could be more thorough and may leave kids wondering how some elements fit into what they're doing. Many, though, become clear once you start playing. Kids won't see a ton of ads while playing. The main push to purchase something is very subtle -- a pop-up window will appear if you click on the lower portion of the homepage that offers three paid options to buy a nobility title. The $2.99 Count/Countess, $4.99 Duke/Duchess, and $7.99 King/Queen titles are promoted as a way to support the developer. The packages also offer more gold teeth and some other content.
Is It Any Good?
Combining elements of a card game and a board game, this app can seem a little overwhelming at first but isn't hard to play. Kids' main objective in Dungeon Faster is to find a key and the exit it opens. Both are under squares they'll click on to reveal the items hidden beneath. Some squares contain magic runes, which power the four cards kids are given at the start of the round. They may also find coins, which can be used to put cards into play, and other items, such as a shield, which will help them battle guards once they've found the doorway and key and want to leave. Most of the strategy comes into play during the face-offs with various monsters who are preventing you from exiting. Kids can choose a card from their deck to make moves such as putting their opponent to sleep for three turns. Kids and the monster will take turns trying to harm each other until someone runs out of energy and loses.
The game has a fairly clever -- and fun -- format. But the instructions are a little hazy -- they don't clearly explain every element, such as what the gold teeth are used for, but kids should be able to figure out what to do as they play. The game features some nice touches. A different sound rings out for each item you find on the board, and while battles aren't overly detailed, monsters bleed when you strike them with a sword and occasionally groan. There are a few other less-than-ideal design elements. For instance, instead of just clicking on a card to find out what it can be used for, you have to go through multiple steps to get a description, which slows down the process. Kids don't get a lot of guidance past the tutorial, so if they get stuck at some point, they may not be sure how to advance in the game. They won't get locked out quickly if they lose a few times, though, so they can keep trying -- and while the learning process might feel a little slow at first, kids won't feel pressured to shell out money at that point to keep playing Dungeon Faster.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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