A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
The game is clearly explained by way of a tutorial that walks players through the process of getting their nation up and running. The drag-and-drop interface is intuitive and easy to use.
Products & Purchases
Some items are purchased with coins earned by selling goods, but there's also a premium currency, Magic Beans, that's bought with real-world cash. Beans, which cost from $.99 for 20 to $99.99 for 3,000, can be used to speed up manufacturing and purchase exclusive items. An ad for an exclusive "item of the day" appears every time the game loads. Players can also get Magic Beans for free by installing other apps (some of which are free) from an offers page.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, like most games of this type, Trade Nations is designed to entice players to spend real-world cash on the game's premium currency (or complete offers that involve downloading additional apps to the device) to buy the more desirable items and speed up the production of goods. If not sped up, goods can take hours or even days to produce.
Is It Any Good?
TRADE NATIONS is an attractive-looking building sim that boasts a robust economy and encourages players to build a large support network of friendly nations (each controlled by another real-world person) to interact with. Players begin with a small village, and build, grow, and trade their way to a large city. Emphasis is placed on the production of materials and how the manufacturing process contributes to the economy -- for example, wood becomes lumber, which is then used to build things like carts. The downside of Trade Nations is the same as with many building sims: lacking a coherent story or spontaneous quests, players will spend a great deal of time waiting around for things to finish being built. Unless, of course, you're willing to pony up real-world cash to speed things along.
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.