A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Star Wars: Commander is a strategic action game similar to Clash of Clans set in the well-known movie universe directly after the events of Episode IV (the "original" Star Wars). The app lets players test their mettle against both artificial-intelligence characters and real-world opponents. There are frequent battles with explosions and the cries of defeated soldiers, but there is no real graphic violence -- and the game is less graphic than the films. Players can choose to side with Luke Skywalker and the Rebels or Darth Vader and the Empire. The game's chief focus is its multiplayer mode, letting players attack the outposts of other players (and defend their own), and they can chat with squad members via in-game text: Though the game itself will appeal to younger players, having the opportunity to chat with strangers makes it more appropriate for older kids and teens. Fortifying a base and building an army costs money, and the game uses in-app purchases to help players buy in-game currency to upgrade more quickly, but they're not mandatory.
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What's it about?
Players may fight the Empire or the Rebels frequently in STAR WARS: COMMANDER - WORLDS IN CONFLICT, but, ultimately, resource management is critical. You'll spend your in-game cash on items such as turrets, troops, and credit miners. From there, you'll attack enemy camps or follow a story mode pitting you against familiar enemies from the films. When real-world enemies destroy your village, you're able to watch a replay of the battle to observe their tactics and shore up defenses for the next attack. (It's also worth noting that even if your village is destroyed in battle, all major buildings remain undamaged from your perspective, though you'll need to rearm traps.) Kids will quickly be able to join a squad, which will enable in-game chat with the squad members. Though no one is personally identifiable, chat is unmoderated.
Is it any good?
Although it's loaded with Star Wars references and nostalgia, you can't help but get a Clash of Clans vibe from this strategic, resource-management title. That's hardly a bad thing, since that game is one of the most successful apps around, but there don't seem to be a lot of immediately unique qualities to Commander, other than its well-known universe.
Still, that universe adds a lot. The ability to play as either the Empire or the Rebels is a fun twist -- and you'll get a thrill when familiar characters from the film briefly appear. The single-player campaign seems a bit longer, too, letting players practice and figure out tactics without suffering frustrating defeats. It's a slow, methodical game, which makes it less than ideal for younger players, but for fans of traditional strategy games, there's plenty to like here -- assuming they didn't get their fill of Clash of Clans gameplay already. It's also important to talk to your kids about online privacy and safety before they get too far into the game: Though the in-game chat is mostly play-related and is text-only, it would be easy to offer up personal information or feel pressured to do so by other players.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
- Pricing structure: Free (You can buy crystals via in-app purchases ranging from $4.99 to $99.99.)
- Release date: August 21, 2014
- Category: Strategy Games
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- Size: 56.90 MB
- Publisher: LucasArts
- Version: 2.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love action and strategy
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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.