Power Rangers: Legacy Wars
Brawling focus keeps movie tie-in app from being a knockout.
Power Rangers: Legacy Wars
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Predatory exploitation of a Child's inner reward system.
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What’s It About?
Released in tandem with the 2017 Power Rangers movie, a reboot of the popular superhero TV series, the POWER RANGERS: LEGACY WARS app pits Power Ranger teams you assemble against other players' teams in real-time battles. Kids choose fight moves that become available as characters' energy replenishes; they earn medals when they win a match and lose points when they don't. Other currency -- zeo shards, coins, and power crystals -- can buy morph boxes, which unlock new Power Rangers for your team and/or help upgrade characters' abilities.
Is It Any Good?
This movie tie-in exposes fans of the long-running show to lots of their favorite characters, but its singular focus on fighting holds the app back. Some parents may not be thrilled with the emphasis placed on kids brawling (and winning) or the amount of in-app purchases they can make, which include a $9.99 starter pack and power crystal packages that range from $0.99 to $99.99. (The various types of currency, and their use, can be a little confusing; kids may need to check out the support section to fully understand what types can be spent on different things.) Also, while the app's battles are graphically impressive (for example, characters leap into the air, the defeated party falls to the ground in slow motion), they're still violent.
The game has some positive points. Users get tips throughout the experience, and kids don't technically have to buy anything to advance levels. By playing well, they can earn currency needed to move through levels. From there, players will learn what they'll need to do to participate in alliances with other members and upgrade their Power Ranger teams' abilities. Along the way, they're encouraged to work toward achieving goals to advance, which is another positive aspect of the game. But that process will take some time; buying extra currency to speed it up may be tempting, which could frustrate kids. Generally, the game would benefit from clearer, easier-to-find instructions; users get a quick rundown when they first start to play, but if they have questions, the support section doesn't always, for example, fully explain how to get zeo shards, an important part of advancing levels. It'd be nice, too, if the game featured other activities that weren't violent; if parents don't mind a little virtual sparring, they may be OK with their children playing the game. But if they do, there really isn't much else for kids to do in the app.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Why does fighting seem OK in a game like Power Rangers: Legacy Wars but isn't in real life? What's a better way to resolve a disagreement?
Talk about commercialism. Do you feel like the app can be a fun experience without buying anything? Can you tell that the app is subtly (and not so subtly) promoting products?
Discuss how working together can help you achieve goals -- and the important role respect plays in teamwork. Can you identify a task that would be easier to complete with two or more people?
- 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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