A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Infinity Blade III is the third game in one of the App Store's most popular (and graphically rich) action franchises. In terms of gameplay, there's much in common with its predecessors, meaning lots of intense fights against a series of armored opponents. It's definitely not a game well-suited for preteens. There is no blood in the battles, but some of the death strokes are graphic, including one wherein the hero snaps an enemy's neck. The game also encourages you to slash an opponent for bonus experience points as many times as you can before he or she falls.
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What's it about?
Players explore a collection of castles and dungeons, fighting enemies and gathering treasure. In battle, users must swipe the screen to lunge and parry with enemies, dodge enemy swipes by using buttons on the left and right bottom corners, and block with a shield by pressing the lower center of the screen. Different weapons -- heavy, light, and medium -- have different play styles, and each has a unique swipe combo. Players also can use magic to reduce an enemy's damage and slow its attacks, among other things. Players are able, for the first time, to brew their own potions, but the process is clumsy and requires players either to pay in-game cash to hurry along or wait for up to 24 hours. An in-game stat system adds a role-playing element to the game, letting players decide where to build their skills.
Is it any good?
There's a reason Apple trots out the Infinity Blade franchise when it wants to show off graphics. The game has always been the pack leader of the App Store in appearance. INFINITY BLADE III sets a new bar for the series and is easily the best-looking mobile game around, but it also beefs up the gameplay from its worthy successor.
You'll still work your way through big enemies, but the story is even more important this time around (though it will be confusing for newcomers). A dragon adds some diversity to the fights, and, for the first time, a female hero is finally playable. Though the series first started as a rather mindless (but fun) brawler, it has added new layers as it's further polished the graphics, bringing a role-playing feel that gives it extra dimension. Also, though it falls short on some features, such as being able to brew your own potions, it remains the gold standard for iOS games and a triumphant finale for the trilogy.
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