Z-Day: Hearts of Heroes

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Z-Day: Hearts of Heroes App Poster Image
Timer-heavy strategy game hinders fun with waiting limits.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Simple gameplay that requires basic button presses. Waiting for more game energy or game elements to finish is the only challenge here.

Violence

Combat is only shown as armies marching and post-battle reports. No blood or gore shown even though you're fighting monsters.

Sex

An alluring female character runs the tutorial, and a belly dancer runs the daily roulette wheel.

Language

No language issues in the app itself, but chat could contain profanity from other users.

Consumerism

Timer system means lots of waiting unless you spend money to speed things up; players can watch optional ads for rewards.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Z-Day: Hearts of Heroes is a free-to-play strategy/base-building game for Android devices with a focus on war and killing things. Combat is represented mostly as tiny soldiers marching to and from battle, as well as static post-battle reports. Players must join alliances and communicate often with members of their alliance to upgrade bases and wage war. "Easy translate" in chat means players can communicate with players from all over the world, and while there are no issues of content in the game dialogue, the unmoderated chat could expose players to inappropriate content. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Z-DAY: HEARTS OF HEROES is a freemium strategy/base-building game set within a barely touched-upon zombie outbreak. Players take on the role of a military commander and build up their armies, expand their bases, and wage war upon rival commanders. The idea is to level up as quickly as possible, and then claim rewards by conquering other bases. Players will also create and join alliances in order to pool their resources and help one another upgrade structures. The app gives players daily rewards and holds weekly events where players can earn special rewards and in-app currency. In addition to upgrading their bases, commanders can work their way through various skill trees, improving their army's strength, infrastructure, and economy.

Is it any good?

Though this app represents yet another link in a chain of similar strategy game clones, there's some fun to be had if you can look past the long wait times imposed on play. The graphics in Z-Day: Hearts of Heroes are nicely done, and that makes it fun to customize your commander's appearance and watch your base progress. Simple animations also make taking out rabid wolves and zombie invaders somewhat more interesting. When not hunting drooling wolves, you'll be tinkering with your base, and there's lots to be done there. The thing is, like every other game in this genre, base building is tied to timers; the higher level your base gets, the longer it takes things to build. "Longer" means anything from 15 minutes to several hours, and that's a real fun killer. There are only two ways to shorten those timers: spending money or begging your alliance buddies for help. But the latter depends on your alliance being online, so depending on how regular they are, you could still get stuck waiting.

Timers are why people hang out in chat rooms, and at least Z-Day: Hearts of Heroes makes that more fun with "easy translate," a cool little feature that lets you understand people from other countries with the tap of a button. Since these strategy apps are mainly about communication and collaboration, Z-Day was smart to make both easier. Even so, like so many other strategy apps like it, Z-Day makes money by making us wait, and that has us looking forward to the day when app developers realize that built-in tedium isn't a great strategy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how strategy games teach teamwork. Does your favorite strategy app, like Z-Day: Hearts of Heroes, reward you for being a good team player?

  • Is playing your favorite app fun, or is it more of an obligation? Do you feel like you have to contribute to a team if you're part of an alliance?

  • How would you make money from a freemium app? Do you think that timers and metered progress are the best way to handle these games?

App details

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For kids who love strategy

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