A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this fantasy role-playing game is a massively multiplayer online game where children fight and kill fantasy creatures. Kids will wield a variety of weapons, but no blood is shown. When creatures die, it is supposed to be in a humorous nature, but some animations may seem grotesque to some. The game is free to play but monetizes by selling desirable items for real cash. There are no parental controls available and chat is open, although a strong naughty word filter is applied which cannot be turned off. Even so, kids may encounter bad language as other players circumvent the language filters. While the game is promoting play for kids ages 10+, given the open chat and violence, we suggest it is best for ages 13+
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What's it about?
Set in a world of dragons and magic, DRAGONICA ONLINE is a massively multiplayer online game where players can play as any of four fantasy archetypes: the Warrior, the Magician, the Archer, or the Thief. Each type has their own unique powers, weapons, and animation. In this world, dragons once ravaged the earth, but have now withdrawn to another realm. Players now train in case the dragons return. They play by completing quests, such as killing rampaging wolves in the forests, bringing firewood from little walking tree-stumps, or taking earrings from the Pirate Shark-boys that infest the waters around the cities. Players are encouraged to make friends and some harder missions require a group to complete. Battle is instantaneous and each special attack has it's own cool down timer. The game tracks things like number of attacks and kills during a play session to give bonuses like extra Experience Points and treasure chests.
Is it any good?
Dragonica Online is easy to pick up and play. Instructions are clear and information for the player is available by mousing over items or using the help file -- a journal that is accessible off the main user bar. Movement, fighting, crafting are all easily learned and very intuitive. As a 3-D platforming game, players are able to move back and forth in a limited fashion as well as utilize jump-pads to leap from foreground areas to background areas. Graphics are soft but pleasing, with combat animations shown as unique and mostly humorous (warriors turn somersaults in the air when shot at by cannons). Kids will like that characters have emotes signs to make the game appealing.
Features like owning pets and houses, cooking recipes, shopping in markets, and having friends add depth to the game. There is also a Player vs Player (PvP) system that is accessed from the game menu but is outside the game. There, players can choose from several game types and maps and fight against other players. Dragonica is free to play but monetizes in the fluff items like outfits and convenience items such as scrolls that will warp players to town instantaneously or health potions.
Online interaction: Kids can easily interact online on the forums as well as in open chat. Children have to be 13+ to participate in the forums and in-game chat has a strong language filter. However, naughty players can frequently find creative ways to get around language filters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about online Social Behavior and boundaries. Why should you not give out personal information online? Does a character's behavior impact the way you think about the person controlling that character. Do you think what you do in game reflects upon you as a person?
Families can also talk about in-game Consumerism. Free to play games are "free" up to a point as they monetize by micro-transactions -- the selling of small items in game. Do you really need to spend money on that Health or Experience potion when you can get them in game? Why do you need to have flashy outfits for your avatar?
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