Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians App Poster Image
Fun, easy fantasy combat game lacks challenging play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Characters use swords, arrows, and magic to attack magical creatures. Cartoony visuals means there's no blood or gore.

Sex

Reference to "ménage a trois" is more jokey than sexual. 

Language
Consumerism

Players can earn in-game currency by playing or spending real money, which is then used to buy new characters, improve stats, or keep playing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians is a cartoony action game for Android and iOS devices. The gameplay is appropriate for most ages, but the game's complexity may only appeal to teens and tweens. Unlike earlier games in this series, which were more visceral in their depiction of violence, Elemental Guardians has a cartoonish look/presentation. Characters do use swords, arrows, and magic to attack magical people and creatures, but these attacks never result in any bloodshed, gore, or dismemberment. And there's no swearing, sex, or other inappropriate content, save for one reference to "ménage a trois" that's more jokey than sexual. Players can earn or buy in-game currency, which is then used to improve characters, buy new ones, or keep playing. Read the app's privacy policy in the "Connect" section of the options menu on the game's website to find out about the information that's collected, used, and shared.

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What's it about?

In MIGHT & MAGIC: ELEMENTAL GUARDIANS, players attend a magic school to learn combat skills. In other words, it's like Harry Potter if Hogwarts had a self-defense curriculum. Along the way, you'll lead a team of magical creatures into battle against, well, other magical creatures, including a rather large dragon who seems like he could just eat your warriors like potato chips (but instead he gets bored and wanders off for some reason). As for the action, you'll take turns using a combination of ranged weapons, melee attack, and magic while occasionally opting to heal your teammates.

Is it any good?

While this fantasy combat game has some good ideas, followers of previous games in the series might find it too cartoony, while lovers of similar action games will find it too easy. While the Hogwarts-like setting and magical creatures might engage younger fans of fantasy tales, older kids will probably get bored. For starters, fans of earlier Might & Magic games will lament the cartoony look and simplistic approach of this turn-based combat game. Similarly, people who are really into this kind of game will get annoyed by being told that their attacks will work well, badly, or just normally (there's an auto-play function for those who are really lazy). Also, if you're looking for hands-on action, this game's turn-based combat won't engage you for long.

Still, despite these problems, Elemental Guardians can be a fun if you don't mind the simplicity and the politeness of taking turns. It offers a wide variety of characters, each with unique attacks and abilities, and there are many ways to upgrade and customize them. The story also does a good job of motivating you to keep going, as do the game's anime/manga-inspired visuals. Plus, Elemental Guardians isn't as overtly greedy as similar games that continually badger you for money. Which is why, if you're new to this series/this kind of game or you're looking for something that isn't overly challenging, Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians might be the final exam from Combat 101 you've been looking for.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. How does it affect the impact that there's no blood when you hit someone with a sword in Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians? Do you feel differently about hitting a dragon than a human?

  • You can earn currency by playing, but you can also spend real money to get more of it. How do you determine when to spend real money and when to just keep playing to earn more?

  • In Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians, you can hit a button and watch the game play itself. Why do you think someone might want to do this?

App details

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For kids who love action

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