A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Empires and Allies is a war strategy game on Facebook that encourages players to create a large circle of friends, which could cause privacy concerns. It is free to play, but players can spend real money to purchase premium items and speed up play. There is some violence, but it cartoon-ish in presentation. Parents should also know that this game is published by the same company that created Mafia Wars and Farmville, two very popular and addictive Facebook games.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In EMPIRES AND ALLIES the Dark Alliance has attacked your country and you must defend your humble island nation and assist your allies. Players begin by clearing the land of destroyed buildings before setting to work building their own. They can create homes for refugees and workers, as well as farms, lumber yards, oil rigs, and ore mines to gather the materials they need. Players must also construct the means to defend their land, including barracks, naval shipyards, and hangars to manufacture the machines of war.
Is it any good?
Empires and Allies is the latest offering from Zynga and is easily the most polished of their various building games, which include Frontierville and Cityville. It places a strong focus on community, which makes working with neighbors essential. Each player makes only one kind of ore, which means they have to obtain other kinds by asking friends for them, picking them up as a reward for helping allies, or buying them from their friends' markets. Icons on the friend's ladder show when rewards may be received by helping out on a friend's island. This leads to the temptation to add as many players as possible to your community, which leads to privacy issues for younger players.
With the ability to participate in war games in the storyline as well as against friends and their attackers, the game can be quite compelling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Facebook Privacy. Do you realize that everyone you invite as a friend can see your wall and your photos? Do you know who these people are? Do you want them to see everything?
Families can also talk about creating a separate profile just to play games so kids can add people who do not have permission to see their photo albums or post to their walls.
For kids who love strategy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.