A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Controls are precise, work quite well. Actual gameplay is simple too, though getting the hang of winning strategies takes lots of work. Game froze on two of three devices.
Violence & Scariness
Almost entire gameplay involves violence, but it's fantastical, cartoony, doesn't show any gore or blood. Characters attack each other with everything from knives, swords, guns, bows and arrows to anchors, weaponized mechanical power suits.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Stylized illustrations of both men and women with muscular, sexualized bodies and revealing, skintight clothes. Female characters are more overtly sexualized than male, with very skimpy outfits, flirtatious expressions, plenty of cleavage.
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Characters have boisterous battle dialogue but don't say anything particularly troubling. But private chat messages can have offensive, occasionally hateful language (particularly if you're a low-skill player).
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Products & Purchases
Expect to make use of in-app purchases to get rare in-game currency, which may be spent on upgrades, access to premium characters, new outfits, or an option to re-roll your randomly chosen character in some game modes. Possible to play without paying, but you might get crushed by more powerful players.
Parents Need to Know
Is It Any Good?
In many ways, this MOBA is as much fun as its PC competitors, but as with any game played with real people, there's a high potential for abuse. Vainglory is certainly more accessible: Its comprehensive tutorial spells out all the basics, and its diverse range of characters caters to every kind of player. The graphics, artwork, and animations are all top-tier, and the game plays well even on older devices. With Vainglory becoming increasingly prominent in the world of esports, casual matches can contain pro-level players who regularly trounce newer players, and that can be discouraging. Worse still, inexperienced players and losing teams can receive harassing messages from opponents and teammates alike.
The new 5v5 mode with its three-lane map ups the competitive ante even more, since it adheres more closely to the larger esports-level standard. The new mode also cranks the difficulty up a notch, requiring a greater degree of teamwork, more familiarity and skill with hero abilities, and a thorough understanding of individual player roles. Chat isn't a prominent part of the game, but since players do use it to share personal information, teens should understand what's OK -- and not OK -- to share. Even with the chat risks and the added complexity of 5v5 mode, Vainglory remains a fun, friendly, accessible way for new players to experience MOBA gameplay.
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.