A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that League of Legends is a Teen-rated online fantasy war game in which kids team up with strangers to challenge other teams in arena-based combat. The goal of the game is to kill opponents -- both the player characters as well as the computer-driven "minions" -- so there's a lot of blood and violence. However, the game is presented from a top-down perspective and characters typically appear pretty small. These factors mitigate the blood effects considerably. A stream of player-authored comments scrolls on-screen throughout and occasionally includes profanity. Parents should also know that online combat games are quickly growing in popularity. E-sports events are held all over the world with large cash prizes. This may make the game even more attractive and draw kids to view televised tournaments online.
What's it about?
LEAGUE OF LEGENDS is a competitive online game that blends real-time strategy with elements of role-playing. Known as MOBAs -- multiplayer online battle arenas -- the genre is based on Blizzard's Warcraft series of games. Players pick characters known as champions from a stable, form a team, select an arena (all are similar, with three lanes through which players can move toward enemy forces), and are pitted against either another team of players or, if they choose, a computer-controlled team. The goal is simply to rack up kills and destroy the opponents' base. Launched in 2009, several expansions to League of Legends have extended gameplay with the addition of new characters, new arenas, and new game modes. The growth of e-sports (complete with sponsors, large prizes, and commentators) has brought the popularity of the game to a new high, with events held across the world and telecast on the Web.
Is it any good?
Part of the reason behind MOBAs' popularity is that everyone starts on a level playing field. All characters begin at Level One, with a set amount of gold with which to purchase items and upgrades. High kills net the player more gold to upgrade their characters and allow them to move to higher levels, opening up new skills and powers. This allows new players to be competitive with established players once they learn the game.
Now five years old, League of Legends is an established game that has worked out its early quirks, bugs, and balance issues. Kids will find it visually attractive and appreciate the broad selection of characters. Plus, the low computer-specification requirements and free-to-play nature of the game make for a low barrier to entry. This game is popular for a reason.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: Windows
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
Collaboration: meeting challenges together, teamwork
- Price: Free/Micro-transaction
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Riot Games
- Release date: October 27, 2009
- Genre: Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco
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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.