Secrets of the Solstice

 
(i)

 

Free-to-play beginner MMORPG for young players.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Positive. Quests given are to protect the city even if they are kill quests. The official forums are busy and players seem to be helpful to newcomers.

Violence

You're required to kill monsters to advance in this game. Violence is cartoonlike with no graphic blood or gore. Monsters fall over and disappear.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Open chat, but a language filter is present that can't be turned off.

Consumerism

Secrets of the Solstice is free to play, but monetizes by micro-transactions -- buying items and in-game cash with real money.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Available online
Developer:Outspark
Release date:January 9, 2008
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)

This review of Secrets of the Solstice was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old August 9, 2009
 
love it
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great role models
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written bydairy05301 April 14, 2011
 

Mom and player

I love this game, both of my young kids play it (ages 8 and 10) and we enjoy playing this game together. Both of my children learned the game easily and it is also a lot of fun for an older player.

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