Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links App Poster Image
Basic but well-made card-dueling game deals an average hand.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Certainly a learning curve; some strategy involved, but game explains things well. 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Players can buy more powerful cards with real-world currency by in-app purchase. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links is an action-based card game that uses strategic methods. Players compete to win matches against live opponents or in a single-player campaign to win matches, based on the cards they hold in their decks. The cards that have higher attack points win. This means there's some pressure either to buy higher-level cards or play for long stretches to earn more advanced cards, so parents might want to be on guard for in-app purchases. There's no inappropriate content and, despite this being a battle-centric game, there's no violence shown on-screen. Worried about what the publisher does with your data? Be sure to read its privacy policy

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What's it about?

In YU-GI-OH! DUEL LINKS, players compete against each other and the game's artificial intelligence to win card duels. Players take turns and draw cards, using them strategically. Each card has attack and defense points, but ultimately the card with the highest attack points wins. Each player begins with a set number of "life points." The difference between the attack points is taken off the loser's life points. The game is played in two phases: the summoning phase (where you position your monsters, which attack) and the battle phase, where they fight. The first to hit zero points loses the game.

Is it any good?

Card games are becoming fairly common in app stores, but having a well-known property behind yours never hurts. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links has everything you'd expect from a duel-based card game but doesn't have a lot of real surprises. The artificial intelligence is weak, and the player-vs.-player is a bit hard to find initially. It's certainly fun -- and will be especially fun for fans of the franchise -- but there's nothing especially new here. The game relies a bit too heavily on its franchise roots and doesn't look to broaden the category. 

The voice acting in the game gets a bit tiresome. And you'll have to go through a number of poor AI opponents before you can take on human ones. This can be frustrating since, while it's meant as a tutorial, the game-generated opponents are too weak to really teach you much. It's fun for a while, but you have to slog through a fair bit of boring play before you face anything (or anyone) especially interesting. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about planning ahead and being prepared for threats yet to come. Can you use the strategy from this game in real life?

  • Talk about wise spending habits. Do you really need to spend cash to get better cards, or can you actually wait for them over prolonged play?

App details

For kids who love strategy

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