Like other popular strategy apps, this has a fantasy setting, world-building mechanics, player-versus-player combat, and timer countdowns, but its play is dominated by purchases and politics. Anyone who's played this kind of app knows Lords Mobile: War Kingdom is all about watching timers. Everything has a timer: construction, training, research, resource gathering, monster killing, you name it. Though you can speed these timers up with special boosts, most of them must be bought from the in-app store. Another thing about these games: Cooperation is key. The idea is to build a kingdom powerful enough to withstand outside aggression, and that needs to be done quickly and efficiently if you don't want to be picked on by gangs of online bullies. Cooperation's the only way to do that, and it comes in the form of a guild.
You can either join a guild or start your own, combining your strength with that of other players. But there's a price for such alliances. Some guilds view membership as a contract requiring consistent play times, resource commitments, and set hours in-game. On top of that, guild politics can become a commitment in itself as guilds insist on communicating outside the game via text, chat, and email. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but food for thought if you're worried about your kids being overwhelmed or getting friendly with strangers. That said, guilds are the core of this genre, and fans would likely argue they're what make these games great. Certainly, without player-versus-player, these games would mostly consist of tapping buttons and watching timers tick down. Of course, Lords Mobile: War Kingdom does offer a bit of a break from that with its hero system. Heroes can be leveled and skilled up, equipped, and swapped out, and new ones can even be recruited. Ultimately, though, they offer only a temporary respite from the larger competitive game, and your enjoyment of that depends largely on your tolerance for timers, teamwork, and frequent wallet taps.