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Fate/Grand Order

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Fate/Grand Order App Poster Image
Complex Japanese role-playing game has steep learning curve.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Battle mechanics are easy, but understanding the complex skill/upgrade system and cluttered interface is much harder. 

Violence

Combat is half the adventure, but it's non-graphic. The game doesn't have blood or gore; vanquished characters simply vanish. 

Sex

Large-chested female characters are shown in tiny outfits. There's also some suggestive/flirty dialog. 

Language

Occasional mild profanity like "damn," "hell," "crap," or "bastard." 

Consumerism

The in-app store has a lot on offer and players are reminded of it often, but playing for free is easy. It's based on a Japanese comic book.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fate/Grand Order is a single player freemium role-playing app for iOS and Android devices. The game is based on the popular Japanese visual novel, Fate/stay night. It involves lots of fantasy (non-bloody) combat and contains mildly suggestive dialog with occasional mild profanity (“damn” or “crap”) as well as busty female characters in tiny costumes. Players are frequently encouraged to visit the in-app store. Players can search for friends via Friend Code, but the app contains no player profile or chat function. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

FATE/GRAND ORDER is a free-to-play Japanese RPG (role-playing game) where you take on the role of a novice “Master” controlling powerful warriors called “Servants.” As part of a group of magical time-traveling scientists, you discover that humanity's bound for extinction unless you can go back in time and correct a series of powerful anomalies.The past is a dangerous place, and you and your sidekick (a powerful warrior called a “Servant”) must fight your way out of some bad situations. Fortunately, while exploring significant points in history, you gain some powerful allies, among them Servants based on famous figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Jeanne D'Arc. These allies are instrumental in helping you defeat the evil threatening humanity, and it's your job to guide them through explosive turn-based battles. When not winning fights, your focus is on upgrading skills and Servants, expanding your Servant collection, and summoning new Servants with in-app currency (earned through questing) or by spending real-world cash.

Is it any good?

This intricate role-playing game (RPG) is full of great content: beautiful graphics, kooky characters, piles of upgradeable skills, and a complex storyline. Of course, Fate/Grand Order also suffers the same issues as most games in the genre -- a steep learning curve, complicated interface, and laborious collection system. On the surface, Fate/Grand Order is easy to play. The first few hours lure you in with an interesting, apocalyptic storyline, fast rewards, and easy-to-win battles. After that, battles get tougher. Wins demand stronger Servants, intelligent crafting and equipment use, and savvier team-building. From then on, success depends on lots of reading (Servant stat cards and Essence/Skill percentages) and the patience to navigate the complicated interface. The latter's arguably the hardest, thanks to a crazy level of screen clutter. With every inch packed with sexy characters, flashing effects, and billboard-like text, the app's menus scream at you like nighttime on the Las Vegas strip.

Each menu confronts you with countless mysterious activities—Crafting, Ascension, Noble Phantasm, Palingenesis—and the app's not quick to explain what they're for. In fact, it shares information slowly, in drips and drabs, trusting that its beauty, humor, absorbing storyline, and dynamic combat system are enough to keep you playing. Fortunately, they are. More than that; they inspire you gain the skills you need to save the world. Of course good as it is, Fate/Grand Order does have a few things parents might not like younger kids exposed to. Dialog can be saucy at times, with mention of characters' bodies and occasional mild profanity, and some female characters appear scantily-clad and ... overdeveloped. These things, in concert with the large quantity of reading and complex gameplay make the app more appropriate for kids over thirteen. Still, for the right age group, there's tons of quality free play here, and you can play for hours without spending a dime.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about spending limits on collection-based games. How much are your kids allowed to spend to try and collect that "rare" card or character? 

  • Do you and your kids know when fun crosses the line and becomes addiction? Should you set up screen time limits to curb the possibility of games becoming addictive?

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