A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
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What's it about?
SHADOW FIGHT 3 is a freemium fighting game/role-playing game (RPG) set in a fantasy world where three factions (Legion, Dynasty, and Herald) fight for control of a force called "Shadow Energy" that lets warriors perform powerful attacks. Players start as young soldiers within the Legion faction. Tasked with fighting the Legion's enemies with ranged and melee weapons (like crossbows and swords), players fight their way through a Story mode that acquaints them with the other two factions. As players progress, they receive new weapons and armor, which can be upgraded with in-app currency. Aside from single-player mode, two-player Duel mode lets players face off online and earn currency and special items. At level four, players can participate in themed events for special armor sets.
Is it any good?
This 3D fighter is a definite upgrade from its 2D predecessor, with detailed characters and easy controls, but its weak story and ad-focused push keep it from being a perfect action title. In Shadow Fight 3, you're thrown into a three-way conflict as a young soldier without knowing who you are or why the conflict matters to you. Various characters blurt random information at you, but in the end, it's easier just to ignore them all and get to the fighting. Combat is the app's strong point anyway, with good four-direction controls, visceral one-button attacks, three different fighting styles (one for each faction), and a 2D format that makes it easy to target your opponent. Shadow Abilities make things even more fun, since they can help you do tons of damage or even stage a comeback when you're about to lose a fight.
On top of entertaining combat, Shadow Fight 3 offers you the freedom to use whatever weapons and armor you want, regardless of fighting style. Granted, upgrading items is still a chore. Upgrades take Shadow Energy, which can only be earned by replaying fights or by performing repetitive side missions. The process is pretty slow, but you can make it bearable by playing Duel mode (there's considerably more satisfaction beating real opponents than AI) or skip it altogether by buying Shadow Energy in the in-app store. Whichever you choose, the app's beautiful sound and visual effects are free, and themed seasonal events like Cherry Blossom and Menace of the Swamps offer a change of pace and the chance to fight special bosses and earn special weapon and armor sets. If Shadow Fight 3 offered a more straightforward story, its gameplay would have more meaning; even without it, though, you're in for hours of shadow-fighting fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Shadow Fight 3 affected by the lack of blood and gore shown in battle? Would the impact be intensified if combat were more realistic?
Do games that constantly push ads to gain progress make you want to purchase the products or apps they market? Do these seem more annoying or necessary because you're not paying for the game in the first place?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free (Contains optional in-app purchases.)
- Release date: November 16, 2017
- Category: Role-Playing Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- Size: 1200.00 MB
- Publisher: NEKKI
- Version: 1.18.5
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
- Last updated: July 10, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.