A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that MILMO is an MMORPG (Massively Multilplayer Online Role Playing Game) that can be played either through Facebook or through the game's own webportal. The developer Junebud is based in Sweden, and the player base is international, with a fair population from Brazil and Europe. Parents also need to know that Milmo is a free-to-play game that monetizes through an in-game store as well as monthly subscriptions that provide bonus items, a discount in the microtransaction store, as well as member-only areas for subscribers. Although it is a web browser game, a small browser plug-in (Unity) needs to be downloaded and installed. This MMO is appropriate for kids ages 10 and up, but if kids are under age 13 (the age required for having a Facebook account) then they will have to play the game online from the company's website portal.
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What's it about?
In Milmo, kids get to explore a series of islands and learn to fight monstrous creatures, dig for treasure, catch bugs, and help the people that live on the islands. Kids can earn titles and achievements in the game and play with others to help each other in quests. There are many items to be earned to customize characters and events with quest rewards that coincide with real-world holidays such as Christmas and Valentine's Day.
Milmo is available both through its own website for kids ages 10-13 and via Facebook for teens ages 13 and up. It also makes use of the Facebook Login to share passwords. Playing through Facebook provides the player a Facebook Page with tool-tips and the ability to use Facebook credits.
Is it any good?
The gameplay in Milmo is fairly generic, but actions such as switching to various other implements besides the sword, including the spade to dig or a butterfly net to catch bugs, add a bit of variety and quite a bit of fun. Kids also get to make choices in some quests about whether to help others. This is seen fairly early in the game when players must decide whether to help hunt down a sea monster or help the researcher to study it.
The look of the game will attract younger players, and the ease of the game-play is suited to kids as young as age 10. However, while this game can be played on Facebook, kids ages 10-12 should play it via the Junebud portal. The game continues to evolve, and as the developers strive toward country specific ratings and compliances, they'll also introduce more and more safety features and more transparency for concerned parents in terms of updated FAQs.
Online interaction: The game has been submitted for European PEGI and US ESRB rating and is not COPPA compliant, but has its own safety rules designed to keep children safe. The "bad word" filter is on by default and cannot be turned off.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Internet Safety as it pertains to the features of the game. Yes, you can add friends to a list and "teleport" to them immediately, but you can also take them off your list if you aren't friends anymore.
Families can also talk about setting computer time limits as well as physical health and the possibilities of eye-strain. How much time should be spent playing computer games? What about other activities?
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