A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORG) that is targeted toward the younger player. It has very simple gameplay and easy learning curve. This game has the ability to chat online with a group of friends, but the chat is controlled by a filter that can't be turned off. Although free to download and play, this game can get expensive if players frequently use real money to buy items in the online mall or cash shop. All items purchased either are consumables or have an expiration date where they will vanish from your inventory. This game has a emoticon system where players can buy special icons to display above their head to express their emotions--leading to some of the game's humor.
What's it about?
SECRETS OF THE SOLSTICE is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORG) set in the Kingdom of Xen, where twin princesses are battling over control of the Solstice Sphere, an ancient powerful relic. Players join the game as a Xenian and choose between four basic professions – fighter, magician, rogue, or priest. They go on quests, battle monsters, explore the world of Xen, and learn skills and magic, all while interacting with other players and non-player characters.
Players start off in a tutorial which sends them on a number of quests that runs them through the early levels of the game and introduces them to the town. In fact, the first few quests do not require players to navigate town, but run them through it to find non-player characters. Movement is via mouse point-and-click and fighting is also accomplished by targeting creatures through a single click and clicking again for auto-attack. Nothing more needs to be done as the computer rolls the die and decides whether the player or creature wins the round.
Is it any good?
Secrets of the Solstice is a good introduction to MMORG games. It's easy to learn because it has great tutorials. It encourages players to cooperate by providing a party system which allows as many as 50 players to group together. When players are grouped, the game provides bonuses to encourage players to do so. There is also a simple "manufacturing" (harvesting materials for smelting) and "smelting" (crafting) system, but it is based on luck as players spin a wheel and the attempt to upgrade the weapon may result in a downgrade or even its destruction. This game is constantly changing because updates and in-game events happen regularly.
While free-to-play, this game tempts you to spend money. If you want to customize your character, you need to spend money in the cash shop, since there is little character customization to be had for free. Also, the game offers emoticon system, a way of showing emotions to others by having exaggerated animations show above your character's head. Unfortunately, these humorous icons aren't offered for free, but must be purchased.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why free-to-play games can be expensive if players used cash to buy items online. Why do developers choose this form of making money? Have you heard language in this game that is inappropriate? Why do you think players say these things? Are you tempted to do things online that you would not do on the playground?