A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that MapleStory Adventures is the Facebook spin-off of the online role-playing game MapleStory. Players with a MapleStory account can receive rewards for their MapleStory character by playing MapleStory Adventures too. The game can be addictive, and help from Facebook friends is required to complete certain quests. The game is free to play, but many of its exclusive perks and equipment must be purchased using Facebook Credits.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
With cute pixelated graphics and 2-D side-scrolling environments, MAPLESTORY ADVENTURES looks just like its MMORPG cousin. However, the controls have been streamlined. In the Facebook game, players simply click on monsters to defeat them (both movement and combat are automatic), levels are short with very little exploration involved, and there are no mini-games. After players have chosen a profession (Warrior or Magician), gameplay centers on completing quests to level up and earn money, which is spent on equipment and clothing, items, and spells. In terms of social interaction, players can hire Facebook friends to fight alongside for a few turns, and send and receive items that are required to complete certain quests.
Is it any good?
MapleStory Adventures has impressive depth for a Facebook game, with hundreds of locations, quests, items, and characters to interact with. However, quests are highly repetitive, and typically involve rather mindless activities such as defeating 40 of a certain type of monster, or collecting 15 of a certain kind of item (which involves defeating even more monsters until enough of the items appear as random drops). Like most Facebook games, each action consumes energy until the player runs out of moves, which can either prevent kids from sinking too many hours into the game or simply compel them to purchase energy refills.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the concept of spending real money on any of the special in-game items or perks. How spectacular would an item have to be for you to spend real-world cash on it?
Do you like the microtransactions model? Would you rather pay a flat fee to "buy" the game and access all the items, or play for free and spend very small amounts on extras you really wanted?
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