The Elder Scrolls: Legends - Heroes of Skyrim

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
The Elder Scrolls: Legends - Heroes of Skyrim App Poster Image
Captivating collectible card game favors paying players.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Complex rule set takes time to absorb.

Violence

Battles are done with cards: injury, defeat indicated with numbers.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Cards for sale are also easily earned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Elder Scrolls: Legends - Heroes of Skyrim is a free-to-play digital collectible card game based on the popular Elder Scrolls role-playing games. Unlike previous Elder Scrolls games, it features non-bloody combat and contains no references to sex or alcohol. There's an in-game store where players can buy additional card packs, but the app gives players plenty of ways to play without having to do that. Bethesda's privacy policy details the kinds of information collected and shared. To read the privacy policy in its entirety, visit the Bethesda website.

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What's it about?

THE ELDER SCROLLS: LEGENDS - HEROES OF SKYRIM eases you in with a single-player campaign that tasks you with saving the Imperial City while learning the basics of card collection and deck building. Turn-based gameplay pits you first against an AI opponent, giving you time to hone your skills and expand your collections. Winning involves using an ever-increasing pool of magic to play cards with various powers; Heroes of Skyrim adds to the strategic aspect by adding the concept of "lanes" (more than one active play area) and upgradeable cards. Once you're comfortable with the gameplay, you can go online and test your skills against live players.

Is it any good?

Basing this card game on a series as beloved as The Elder Scrolls is a good start, and adding multiple layers of compelling strategy gameplay seals the deal. Not only do you get awesome graphics, sound, and deep, turn-based competition -- you get hours of gameplay without spending a cent.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends - Heroes of Skyrim is fun to learn and challenges without being discouraging. The single-player story campaign gives you five different decks and teaches the strengths and weaknesses of each. Winning matches earns you upgrades and in-game currency. And though the story's somewhat forgettable, it's told through good-looking animation and interesting themed battles. The first campaign is free, but additional ones must be bought. More experienced (or competitive) players will likely forgo that option in favor of multiplayer, but that's not a means of avoiding the shop. Would-be contenders quickly realize the limitations of their free decks and the need for certain cards and certain upgrades. That doesn't mean the app is pay-to-win, but it's certainly flirting with the issue. Even so, it's fun and offers new collectible card gamers a friendly, accessible inroad to play on.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the educational value of strategy games. What kinds of real-life skills can you learn from playing strategy games?

  • Think about the advantages of playing a digital strategy game versus a tabletop one. Which do you think is better?

  • Discuss collectible card games and the concept of "pay to win." Do you think players who buy cards are more likely to win?

App details

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