Empires and Allies

Common Sense Media says

War strategy Facebook game is polished fun.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

This strategy game promotes warfare. Players defend their homes against invading forces and can choose to invade or help others. There are many more opportunities to help than to invade others.

Positive role models

Characters in this game come in all genders and races. The main commander who leads the storyline is female. They command battles, but are clearly "good guys."

Ease of play

The user interface is extremely simple and everything is accomplished by a mouse-click.


Violence is depicted via explosions and black smoke clouds. Planes, tanks, and ships disappear in a cloud of black smoke and ground troops turn into gravestones for a second or two before disappearing. Everything has a very cartoon-ish look and feel.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Players can purchase Empire Points with real money. Empire points are used to buy premium items rather than earning them through play. They can also be used to reduce time for resources to replenish. Advertising for this system is not pushy, but it is seen in each quest window.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns: Games on Facebook typically ask players permission to post achievements for others to see and encourage players to invite more friends to play. Here, there is added temptation to invite strangers because players gain rewards by visiting friends and can gift items to each other.

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.

Families can talk 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.

Game details

Price:Free & Microtransaction
Available online?Not available online
Release date:June 9, 2011
ESRB rating:NR for Not Available (Facebook)

This review of Empires and Allies was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old July 27, 2011

awesome but, waiting

it's extreamly fun!!! but, once you do everything then it becomes a waiting game.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byLegend736 March 31, 2012

No,I dont want to buy!

This game does everything it can to persuade you tto buy items.Play a proper strategy game like Age of Empires instead.
Adult Written bySantosRating August 12, 2011

Good Game

Just Fine! Rating:10+/OC
What other families should know
Too much violence


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?


What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide