A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
The instructions are fairly brief, but kids should be able to figure out how to play.
Violence & Scariness
The game involves a variety of weapons and fighting monsters until they die.
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Products & Purchases
Kids can, but don't have to buy additional in-app currency and other items.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Soul Knight is an action game for iOS and Android devices. The gameplay doesn't shy away from violence -- kids fight repeatedly using a variety of weapons that range from guns to a sword and what appears to be wrapped gifts that cause a considerable amount of damage upon impact. Generally, though, they're fighting mythical creatures, not real people, and the pixelated retro graphics don't reveal blood or an agonizing demise. The introductory tutorial doesn't explain all aspects of playing, but the basics are covered and the rest should be fairly easy to figure out. Some items are sold within the app, including boxes of gems, used for things like unlocking and upgrading characters, for $0.99 to $3.99. Kids can earn them by playing, though, and don't get a lot of pushes to buy them -- or anything else.
Is It Any Good?
There isn't a lot of depth to this game, but with a format that's neither too easy nor overly complex, playing can be entertaining. At the start of Soul Knight, kids are told chaos has erupted after a magical stone that kept the world in balance was stolen, and they set off on a quest to get it back. It's a little unclear how defeating groups of random creatures will achieve that -- the game is fairly easy to pick up, though, and moves quickly. Kids may stumble at a few points, especially early on, due to elements that aren't explicitly described in the initial instructions. They'll need to tap the button that activates the weapon they're holding once, for example, to open a chest, and another time to pick up what's in it. Kids may not also realize at first what the pet floating behind them, or another random character they may hire, are there to do. Having two other entities moving around in battles can make figuring out who to shoot at a little confusing, since it's easy to mistake them for an enemy target. But they actually help out by independently defeating opponents.
Kids get some helpful visual cues while playing. A map of each level's layout is shown on the screen, and the word "Clear" flashes on the screen once kids have killed all the creatures in a room. Levels end when all foes are defeated and kids enter a portal. Although they need to keep an eye on their energy reserves, the game isn't overly harsh about draining them until you can't play. The controls can be glitchy sometimes in the midst of play, and the game's focus on violence isn't ideal. But with a good balance, though, of being able to control the character's actions and automated elements like guns intuitively firing in the right direction, Soul Knight manages to make all the fighting pretty fun.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.