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Online card game stresses strategy, yet has hidden payments.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Player versus player gaming promotes competitive behavior, which can be positive or negative.


Players control game pieces that fight other game pieces to the death using magic, or traditional and fantasy weaponry.


A few rune cards have scantily-clad characters.


Online interactions can include any kind of language in free chat. Game settings include a profanity filter that is on by default, but this can be turned off or circumvented.


PoxNora is free to download and play, but players are encouraged to spend real money on collectible runes in order to improve their game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that PoxNora is an online game which can be downloaded and played for free, but costs money for players wanting to improve their game. Parents should also be aware that the purpose of the game is to defeat other players in combat. Violent animations are minimal, but some of the rune cards have scary imagery. This online game allows communication between players in chat, which can be unpredictable. It has a profanity filter than can be turned on or off at will. All online games with free chat have the potential for unwanted discussions of sex, race, religion, or other themes. Like traditional strategy games, PoxNora is a game that families can learn to play together.

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What's it about?

POXNORA is an online turn-based strategy game that allows players to battle head-to-head using monsters, champions, and magic spells, which are all represented on collectible trading cards called "runes". Players assemble rune decks into Battlegroups, and then pit them against another real player or against a computer controlled opponent on the battlefield. Each player has a home base, or "Shrine", which they must protect while they attempt to destroy the Shrine of their opponent.

Play is turn-based and consists primarily of revealing runes at random from the Battlegroup and playing them on the battlefield. Playing runes costs "Nora", or magical power, some of which is replenished every turn. Players must select runes and use Nora judiciously in order to maximize their effectiveness on the battlefield. Runes fall into one of four general categories: champions, equipment, spells, and relics. Champions are the heroes of the battlefield and can be moved at will to attack and defend. They can be outfitted with equipment, which confers additional abilities. Spells have various effects on the entities in battle, and relics are unmovable objects with special powers. The game currently has more than 500 runes available for purchase, each with their own set of attributes.

Is it any good?


Although the basics of PoxNora are easy to learn, mastering the strategies behind rune selection and use can be complicated and difficult. And with its library of more than 500 collectible runes, PoxNora is as much a collectible hobby as it is a game. Kids who grew up playing collectible card games like Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering could find this to be a compelling and more mature variation on the theme. Although its appeal may be limited to those who enjoy learning and memorizing detailed and occasionally arcane statistics, determined players will be rewarded with a challenging and engrossing game experience.


Families that want to delve into this gameplay need to know that there will be associated costs. PoxNora's pricing schedule is nearly as complex as the game itself. While the game is free to download and play, the free Battlegroups are rudimentary. To be good at this game, you will need to improve your rune set which means that you will need to purchase runes from PoxNora's online store. You can buy single runes, or in multi-rune packs, which can be pre-configured Battlegroups, or as "booster packs." Booster packs come in all factions and in sizes from 25 to 200 randomly-selected runes. Players who obtain a premium membership, starting at $15 for 3 months, get special discounts, and a long list of perks such as exclusive access to the premium membership store and the ability to start a guild. The game is found at www.poxnora.com.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss online safety and etiquette with their teenage children. What is appropriate to talk about online? How is this fantasy game similar to traditional strategy games like chess? Would you rather play a game online or offline with friends? What are the advantages of both?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Not available online
Release date:August 1, 2006
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
ESRB rating:NR

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