A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Two kingdoms are at war in FIRE EMBLEM HEROES, and it's your job as a member of the Order of Heroes to help the good side win. Arriving in the kingdom of Askr, you become a legendary summoner capable of gathering a group of its greatest fighters. Your martial strategy involves collecting knights, archers, mages, and others, leveling them up, and teaching them a host of powerful skills. After that, winning turn-based battles comes down to creating diverse teams that are ready for anything. Should you succeed in defeating the enemy, you could discover the source of the conflict and maybe even solve a mystery or two.
Is it any good?
Japanese role-playing games are taking the app stores by storm, proving that complex RPGs and mobile devices are a surprisingly good fit. This series in particular effortlessly transitions to the tablet with beautiful graphics and elegant tap-swipe controls. The 2D anime-style characters are stunning (though some of the female heroes wear revealing costumes and say flirty things), and collecting them all quickly becomes a compulsion. Better still, their substance easily matches their style.
Heroes come with a wide range of complementary skills that both beginners and RPG veterans can appreciate. Want to put your team builds to the test? Multiple game modes (Story, Training Tower, and Arena, where you take on other players' teams) provide ample opportunity to try out strategies and earn the orbs you need to unlock more heroes. On the down side, the story takes forever to get rolling and feels padded with lots of the same objectives. Also, players unused to the JRPG formula might not enjoy the hefty helping of repetition built into the game. Success depends on having a wide selection of heroes raised to a certain level, and doing that means hours of replaying battles with different team members. But replayed levels mean less experience. Of course, some of the tedium can be avoided if you have money to spend. The good news, though, is if you're patient, purchases are totally optional. Hero unlocks can all be earned, and you're given enough Stamina to play longer than you probably should. That, plus great graphics, a fun collection mechanic, and fun strategy gameplay make Fire Emblem Heroes a good entry point for role-playing newbies and a total gimme for JRPG fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how male and female anime heroes are drawn. Why are the female characters so often sexualized? Why aren't the male heroes drawn the same way?
Discuss the use of revealing costumes. What do you think they communicate about the wearer?
Think about the time investment required by an RPG. What's a good time limit for individual play sessions?
Themes & Topics
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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.