A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn reading skills like comprehension and how to follow directions as they play this dialogue-heavy role-playing game (RPG). Players will have to read the in-game text carefully for clues about what to do next, and the game's story and characters are a big part of its appeal. Kids will also make important decisions such as how to equip each character, which items to purchase, whether to attack or defend in battle, which spells to cast, and so on. Kids can learn strategy and reading comprehension skills in this underrated entry in the Final Fantasy series.
Ease of Play
The game uses an easy and flexible control scheme. Characters are moved through the world using a virtual directional pad that appears wherever the player presses on the screen, adjusting for different sized hands and positions. Players tap to interact with menus, and can pinch the screen to zoom in slightly and discover hidden treasures.
Violence & Scariness
Players earn experience points by defeating monsters in turn-based combat using spells and weapons such as swords, axes, and bows. Enemies disappear when defeated and there is no blood. A woman jumps off a cliff and characters are shown striking each other in the cutscenes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some characters are scantily clad, including cleavage and bare midriffs on females, and bare chests on males.
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One of the enemies is called a "helldiver," but otherwise the game is free of language issues.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional references to drinking and what look like liquor bottles on tables, but it's never explicitly stated that the drinks are alcoholic.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Final Fantasy III is an iPad port of the Nintendo DS remake of Final Fantasy III, with new touch controls and other visual enhancements. There is bloodless fantasy violence throughout, as players defeat various monsters using weapons and spells in turn-based battles. This is not a universal app; a separate version for iPhone and iPod Touch is also available for $15.99.
Is It Any Good?
While not as famous as other games in Square Enix's beloved Final Fantasy franchise, the remake of Final Fantasy III is a gem of a game that works beautifully on the iPad. Its fantasy storyline follows four Heroes of Light who are chosen to restore the balance of power to a land that has swung too far towards evil and is becoming overrun with monsters. The game also features an innovative jobs system that lets the four main characters switch between different professions to acquire unique skills, spells, and fighting techniques. The app is pricey but delivers a polished role-playing game with dozens of hours of gameplay and as much depth as anything on the Nintendo DS.
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