Power Rangers: Legacy Wars

App review by Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Power Rangers: Legacy Wars Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Brawling focus keeps movie tie-in app from being a knockout.

Parents say

age 18+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 1 review

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Predatory exploitation of a Child's inner reward system.

This game is designed by very smart adults to take advantage of teens and children. Regardless of the fact that the game is specifically rated for ages 13 and up- Power Rangers the brand is an all ages brand. If your kid watches the series and have access to a tablet or phone device regularly, this game would probably interest them by the recognizable characters alone. That said- this game is built from the ground up to get your kid hooked. Immediately upon launching the game for the first time the game will have you experience a tame demo of the combat. A simple Rock Paper Scissors affair, all generated by luck, there's dashing, dodging and things of that nature but the gameplay is accessible mechanically for even very young players. The graphics are bright and flashy, winning a match results in the familiar Mighty Morphin Power Ranger jingle and a booming voice eclaiming "YOU WIN!" You'll be proceeded to the menu where the game will present you with a box that has very appealing visuals and sounds that are designed to tantilize and intrigue. Which on its own wouldn't be a problem. However, these free boxes that come from winning fights are also purchasable from the main menu with two taps. You can additionally buy a VIP subscription for 20 bucks a month to get even more premium currency to buy more boxes. "But my kid wouldn't get caught up in that." Except, the game's reward system is nearly perfect. You win a game, you get a free box as long as your 4 box slot isn't full. You can also unlock one corruption box a day which requires a sum of damage to be done to other players to unlock. It's easily attainable and will keep anyone coming back daily to fight and get more boxes. Over about a week, you quickly realize that this cycle is addictive. Couple that with rare rewards being doled out monthly for merely signing in every day. Over time, your child may not find the game very addicting, and the combat enjoyable. However, as time goes on, they'll be pitted against more advanced players who put forward cash to play as the more over powered or extremely strong characters. These characters are typically flashier, have much stronger attacks and will be harder to beat. This will drive young boys crazy feeling that the game is unfair, and the only way to even the odds is to also spend parents' money to get the character they want. Only for that character to be made obsolete with another new more powerful character later to rinse and repeat. This cycle is not uncommon in free to play mobile games. However, this game I've found is far more effective against boys than you might suspect. Boys do enjoy fighting and roughhousing and challenge and competition. We also enjoy fair fighting and playing by the rules. When it feels like to enjoy a balanced and fair fight that you need to spend money, that's where they grab them. Now this addictive circle is hidden behind the game's ranked ladder. There are no 'fighting for fun' modes in the game. Everything is tied to a number. And right off the bat, you're thrown against bots who mimick new players (even using unique player names and fighting as part of a 'clan' or group of fighters who network to share rewards). Your child will likely win 90% of their matches, feeling invincible and talented, they will quickly climb to the higher ladders. Around League 3 on a new account I made, I was fighting rangers with sometimes 1200, to 2000 more points of health, which is a lot for this game. Players would also possess several premium fighters. With the basic roster your child is given, these fights are nearly impossible. Furthermore, the game's community does seem to be rather socially 'clued out'. Player names are sometimes grotesque or overtly political, or sometimes derogatory or racist. Same goes for clans, which are accessible from the main menu. If your child has an issue with the game, support tickets take a very long time to resolve, if they're resolved at all. Additionally, petitioning for help anywhere online is going to be socially dangerous as many of the players do seem to have an obsessive fixation that the quality of the game is fine and any negative experiences are merely a result of player error despite the very popularly voiced issues with the game itself. As some have mentioned, the game is violent, such is the Power Rangers brand. If you're alright with the part and parcel violence using weapons, that when striking damage emit no blood or even sparks as the television show used to illustrate injury- and the occasional unsportsmanlike taunting built into the game- then you might find this appropriate for 14 year olds. However, a word of caution: This game by its nature of being a competitive fighting game may cause aggression or mood swings in adolescent boys, especially after an apparently unfair loss. Lastly, the acquisition of free or non-premium rangers are quite difficult. The game does adhere to a 'Common' 'Rare' 'Epic' 'Legendary' tier system of acquisition. Each ranger requires 10 shards called 'Zeo shards' to unlock. Common characters may drop all 10 in one box, sometimes 4-6. Your child will accrue many useless shards that do no favors as they escalate in the game's ladder. As the rarity goes up, the less likely you are to get shards for characters at all. Legendary characters seem to have astronomically low drop rates. This also applies to the boxes that give players shards. Seemingly your child may say "Wow, this box says I can get 0-4 shards for X character I want!" They may pay the price to purchase said box only to realize that they received no shards. That's because the 0-4 shard drop rate is a scam. These drop rates are not accurate at all, as almost any box purchased with a 0 chance will result in a zero shard drop. The game will tantilize your child by saying, "The more boxes you buy, the more your chances go up!" This is true, however- this is exploitative gambling being offered to minors. This isn't consumerism, it's taking advantage of the still developing brains of youth- their reward system that drives their behavior is being manipulated to line the pockets of the video game developer. For any interested, this game was designed, produced, developed and launched before Hasbro bought the Power Rangers brand. This game as of date is not a reflection of Hasbro but rather the previous brand owner Haim Saban who was famous in the 90s for his lining of the Fox Kids network with hit shows like Power Rangers, Spider-man Big Bad BeetleBorgs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and VR Troopers. In summation: This game takes advantage of youth, and I feel shortly this behavior will be found criminal and that incentivized gambling is shameful even when aimed at adults. Beware, we all think our kids are untouchable, but addiction is no respecter of persons. My nephew and I love to watch Power Rangers together, despite the violence, it has a lot of great moral lessons about courage, sacrifice, taking care of the environment, and helping those in need without expectation of reward. This game does not represent those values and instead strips it down to a very dark, shallow imitation of what Power Rangers is supposed to be.

This title has:

Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: March 28, 2017
  • Category: Action Games
  • Topics: Superheroes
  • Publisher: nWay Inc.
  • Version: 1.1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, iOS 7.0 or later; Android version 4.0 and up
  • Last updated: February 4, 2020

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