A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Beyond winning matches, the game contains no overt messages that are positive or negative.
Positive Role Models
Different heroes battle it out, but none has a message or moral alignment.
Ease of Play
The gameplay's complex, but tutorial puzzles and missions help newbies learn strategy. Puzzle missions start out easy to solve and get significantly harder.
Violence & Scariness
While combat's frequently conducted between two players, the battles are handled between cards that represent powers, units, or effects. No blood or gore is shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sex in the game itself, but player chat could contain inappropriate or suggestive language.
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No profanity in the game itself, but player chat could contain bad language.
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Products & Purchases
Players can purchase additional card packs but can also earn them just by playing. The base game doesn't include the expansion packs or newer downloadable content (DLC). Switch owners will receive five free DLC packs for the first thirty days of the game's launch.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
No substance use in the game itself, but player chat could contain references to alcohol, drugs, or smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Faeria is a downloadable fantasy-themed, turn-based strategy for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs with a focus on card collection. Purchase of the base game doesn't include expansion packs and downloadable content (DLC) is sold separately, although Nintendo Switch owners will receive five DLC packs for the first thirty days of the game's launch. Players can earn card packs or purchase them from the in-game store. They can also purchase cosmetic items such as avatars, card backs, and orbs. Online play contains chat, and friends can message each other directly. This chat's uncensored, so players can be exposed to all kinds of unwanted comments. Combat's the game's central focus but is represented by cards on a board. Injuries and death are shown simply as numbers ticking down and cards vanishing from the board. Puzzle missions are also included, and start out easy, but become significantly more complex over time.
Is It Any Good?
Collectible card games are all the rage these days, but this clever card game/strategy board game hybrid is one you and your kids can enjoy together. A common complaint about free collectible card games (CCGs) is their seemingly endless requirement to buy card packs and the randomness of their rewards, but Faeria just might teach a generation raised on free-to-play the benefit of paying for a game. Not that everything's unlocked from the beginning, mind you. You have to complete various missions to unlock additional modes and rewards, but there's not the "buy, buy, buy" feeling you get from games that depend on micro-transactions. This leaves you free to enjoy the cleverly-designed missions, which teach specific strategies while exposing you to AI opponents whose amusing personality quirks match their approach to battle. This is really some of the best teaching with tutorials you'll find in a strategy game, especially with the series of puzzle matches that set you on the road to understanding how cards interact with one another.
Along with making a CCG more accessible, Faeria succeeds in creating a fun, colorful world you and your kids can enjoy together. The graphics are vibrant and whimsical, the sound design is nice, and there's no offensive content to interfere with the fun. Kids will love earning and opening new rewards and tinkering with their decks before taking on a particularly tough AI or human opponent, and parents will enjoy not having to buy new card packs every five minutes. The game's DLC model means when you buy an expansion, you get all of it at once, (no randomness involved) and winning matches earns you in-game currency that can be used to buy cool-looking avatars and other custom graphics that show up during matches. There's a bit of a mild advantage in the DLC race when it comes to the Switch getting additional DLC packs for the first thirty days after its launch, but that seems to be more about building up the player base than giving that system a strategic advantage. The wider advantage is the inclusion of cross-platform play over all three systems, which significantly expands the competition that you'll face once you're up for a larger challenge. For console players just coming to this game, be warned: there are some incredibly good and seasoned PC players ready and waiting to tear through your decks. At more than a hundred hours of gameplay, Faeria is a great entertainment value, and a strategy game you can feel good about letting your kids play.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.