A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players get rewarded for helping others as they follow story, but you're fighting as a ninja against a variety of monsters, characters.
Positive Role Models
Players pick, choose to play characters, but while they can base them off characters from show, player motivations are unknown.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, automated features, but with difficult learning curve in item, character upgrading, team composition, development.
Violence & Scariness
It's a fighting game that gives appearance of defeating opponents, not killing them. No blood, gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild displays of obscured nudity in one of Naruto's ability actions; it happens very fast, not overly inappropriate.
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Products & Purchases
Free to play with many incentives to spend money on convenience items to power up your characters.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Naruto Online is a browser-based or software-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) where players are ninjas embarking on their own journeys in the Naruto universe, a popular manga. Players recruit original characters from the series and engage in intense ninjutsu battles against other ninjas wielding the powers of the elements: earth, fire, wind or lighting. Players proceed through the story leveling their characters, build teams by collecting familiar ninjas from the series, and battle in a turn-based combat system. The goal is to collect items and level your ninjas to greater power and levels. Naruto Online is free to play, but the game utilizes many timers, clickable icons, and daily rewards to encourage the use of real money to buy items in the online item mall or cash shop, which can get expensive. The timed rewards get longer and longer in duration, which encourages players to continue to play for extended periods. There's also an open-chat system that parents need to be aware of and have necessary conversations about for younger children.
Is It Any Good?
This very simple-to-play MMO holds true to the spirit, graphical style, and setting of the manga, but gamers looking for depth or complexity will be disappointed with this average title. Those who love the series will really connect with the game and will enjoy collecting all the characters in the universe. But newcomers may feel that it's really lacking as a true MMO. Since this game does have a browser-based component, it's very accessible and playable from most platforms. But the downside with this accessibility is that the graphics and visual effects are significantly lower-quality than other comparable games. Naruto Online's combat is turn-based, which makes it strategic and tactical, allowing players to build teams that have complimentary abilities and moves. But the ability to have many features be automated through combat or regular tasks can make it feel like this is a game to watch rather than play. For example, as you follow the storyline, you character is just moved from location to location. Similarly, combat can be dull when you're not actively participating in it.
The challenge of the game lies in collecting items to upgrade your gear to make you stronger so you can take on stronger fights. But the diversity of items needed to power up your ninjas can get confusing, and so can the balance of team position and composition. With very few tutorials to help you along, it takes a willingness to experiment and ask questions. The clutter of the user interface also detracts from the experience, because it's clear that the game is trying to keep you clicking on all the timed daily, weekly, and event-based rewards. Fortunately, when you're actively participating in combat, the interface simplifies and is much more enjoyable. Overall, there are some good parts of Naruto Online, such as the well-written story and cut scenes that feel like they come from the manga or TV show, but there are enough flaws with the game to keep it as solely a game for hard-core Naruto fans only.
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.