League of Legends

Game review by
Carolyn Koh, Common Sense Media
League of Legends Game Poster Image
Online fantasy warfare game with bloody violence, text chat.
  • Windows
  • Free/Micro-transaction
  • 2009
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 27 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about planning, how to analyze situations, how to evaluate opponent strengths and weaknesses, and how to make decisions based on the information at hand. Players will also communicate with one another and work together to develop successful tactics. However, while League of Legends focuses on teamwork and strategic reasoning, its constant fantasy violence makes it a questionable source for learning.

Positive Messages

This is a team-based "blood sport" wherein killing is the goal. A higher kill count is the road to gaining achievements and increasing levels.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's characters all are violent, bloodthirsty fighters with few redeeming qualities.

Ease of Play

The game is easy to pick up and learn. The controls are intuitive, and the few available arenas can be quickly memorized. That said, mastering the game is another thing altogether. There are a large number of characters, all with their own unique skills that players need to learn to counter. A good deal of hand-eye coordination and quick tactical thinking are required to win.

Violence

The goal of this game is to kill enemies and destroy structures. Players accomplish this with fantasy weapons such as spears and swords, as well as magical powers -- and occasionally guns. There is plenty of splashing blood, and there are combat sounds such as slashing and explosions. One vampire champion's attacks cause a large blood-pooling effect, and, as your character is close to death, the edges of the screen turn blood-red. However, the top-down perspective and the common desire to see more of the battlefield by scrolling outwards to a higher view mitigates the blood effects considerably.

Sex

Several female characters have form-fitting and revealing outfits. Character dialogue can be racy. Examples: "Is that a rocket in your pocket?"; "Sorry boys, I left the fuzzy cuffs at home"; and "For $2.95 a minute, I will leave you breathless."

Language

This is an online game in which players can text-chat with other players, so there's no telling what kids will encounter. The game provides a way to mute other players, should there be a need.

Consumerism

The game is free to download and play, and it cycles through a large stable of champions as whom players can select to play in each match. However, a permanent character has to be purchased, and there are premium characters as well as cosmetic "skins" for each that can be bought with real money.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character has a "drunken rage" ability, which is used to reduce inflicted damage. The character's idle animation drinks from a large cask, and his signature quote is, "The only time I have a drinking problem is when I spill it." Some characters are depicted with smoking pipes and lit cigarettes.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 15 year old Written byLtFrostbite April 27, 2014

Great game, big learning curve

League of legends is one of the biggest games out there right now. That said, it has one of the biggest learning curves in all the games out there right now. G... Continue reading
Adult Written byMarie S October 12, 2016

Way too addicting for teens!

Please monitor how much your kids are playing this game! Before you realize it they are so addicted that asking them to get out of a game sends them into a rage... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 14, 2014

Very fun, requires skill, patience, and mercy.

League of Legends is a somewhat suggestive MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) Third-Person game. This means there are millions of players out there. You have... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheDude136 July 26, 2015

The REAL League of Legends

I am 15, and a sophomore in High School. Based on these credentials you have no reason to read further, but if you want the truth about LoL then continue. No of... Continue reading

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 ...

  • Families can talk about the team-based aspect of this online game. Do you enjoy cooperative games? Do you play with your friends or strangers?

  • Families also can discuss the importance of online safety and what kids should or should not be sharing with strangers.

Game details

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