Parents' Guide to

Haunted Empires – Ghosts of the Three Kingdoms

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Plays-itself RPG designed to make users spend money.

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Haunted Empires - Ghosts of the Three Kingdoms can hardly be called a game. Designed to do everything for you, it robs you of the opportunity to make meaningful choices and instead asks you to mindlessly tap buttons -- Pavlov's dog-style -- to receive rewards.This excessive hand-holding might be acceptable if it was temporary and used to teach gameplay. Sadly, that's not the case. Missions consist of directions such as "explore this dungeon" (translation: Tap "Fight" and let the game win for you) or "upgrade a hero to level 10" (tap "Upgrade" and watch the numbers tick up). As a result, the first few hours of "gameplay" are a tedious exercise in doing what you're told. Three hours in, you're finally allowed to make a few choices as different areas of the main map unlock. You're given the chance to do things such as assign skills and play a bun-eating mini-game. It's something, but it's not enough. Beyond the bizarre lack of meaningful interactivity, it's full of dialogue that tells no discernible story. Among the many adventure and role-playing apps currently available, Haunted Empires - Ghosts of the Three Kingdoms is a particularly weak offering. It's sloppy, disjointed, and only marginally interactive, and in spite of some nice graphics, it's clearly a product meant to siphon cash out of its players.

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