Strife

Game review by
Carolyn Koh, Common Sense Media
Strife Game Poster Image
Fantasy war game is violent but promotes teamwork, strategy.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn teamwork and collaboration, because this team-based game pits one squad against another. Kids also learn decision making when they customize equipment to match the characters they choose to play or what skills to use in battle. They also learn strategy in deciding on the character to use to complement the characters chosen by their teammates and the skills they choose to upgrade first. Strife also lets players practice with their characters before throwing them into the deep end of online battle, which can build players' confidence. With a heightened focus on both teammates and individual play, Strife stands out from other MOBA titles on the market.

Positive Messages

This is a team-based "blood sport" in which the goal is to destroy the opponent's home base. To do so, you have to kill the protectors first as well as the other team. Higher kill counts provide the means to attain better equipment and skills.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's characters all have different backstories, but even those with redeeming qualities are geared toward killing or supporting teammates while they carry out the violence.

Ease of Play

The game is easy to pick up and learn (albeit quite hard to master), with a voiced tutorial that's repeatable. But there are many characters that a player can choose to play as, all with their own skills and all of whom players must learn to use and counter if they're on the opposing team. The customization system also allows for complex variations. A good deal of hand-eye coordination and quick strategic thinking, along with teamwork, is required to do well in this game.

Violence

Strife is a game of building destruction and enemy killing, with fantasy characters that are human, animalistic, and/or fantastic. Characters use magical spells, swords, spears, guns, and character-specific tools such as a ball of yarn or a man-eating plant to accomplish their goals. These attacks are accompanied by explosions, beams of light, and cries of pain. But because of the game design, there's little visual effect of death, blood, and destruction; what is shown fades quickly. The top-down perspective and the desire to see more of the battlefield by zooming out also help mitigate the violence.

Sex

Character design is "heroic," which means that some male characters have exaggerated upper body muscle structure, and some female characters are large-busted. But the game's top-down perspective and small characters mitigates the sexy factor. There isn't any overt sexiness in character dress or animation.

Language

This is an online game, and, to function better as a team, there has to be communication. Players can text-chat with others on their team and use voice chat, so there's no telling what kind of language kids could encounter.

Consumerism

The game is free to download and play, and all the characters are provided for free, although some may require unlocking through gameplay. The game monetizes through cosmetic options, such as different versions of pets or clothing colors. Players also can pay to unlock equipment customization (known as "crafting"), which provides some variety, as the basic building blocks for your gear still have to be earned in-game. The stronger it is, the harder it is to earn.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

At the time of review, none of the characters used substances, but online games get updated, and new characters become available to play. There's no guarantee that future characters won't drink or smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Strife is a downloadable online fantasy war game in which players join up with both friends and strangers to challenge other teams in arena-based combat. The goal of the game is to destroy the opposing team's base -- and to do that, players will have to kill other players, as well as computer-generated enemies. Although there's violence inherent in the destruction of opponents via various weapons, spells, and skills, the visuals, coupled with the top-down perspective, limit the impact from being overly graphic. Parents should also know that although Strife is free to play, there's an incentive to purchase content to boost your chances of creating specialized equipment. And there's a focus on communication for teammates to plan strategies, but it is unmoderated, so players can be exposed to objectionable commentary/language.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byabdullahl May 27, 2015

beatiful Strife

1. beautiful and enjoyable game. 2-small map, close to the towers, a short distance, Kingdom Tower (last) easy to destroy him. 3. Animal's annoying hero, w... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

STRIFE is a competitive online real-time strategy team-based game with role-playing elements known as a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Players pick a character, select a pet to accompany it, form teams, and go up against other groups (or the computer for practice) in an arena. Every character in Strife has a backstory, which is used to provide the tutorial for players (other backstories will be revealed in short, downloadable single-player adventure games that will be released over time). Arenas all are similar, with three lanes along which players and computer-made soldiers move to their goal, the enemy base. Along the way, players destroy protective towers and earn experience points and gold shared with teammates to level up their characters and skills and to purchase equipment.

Is it any good?

MOBAs are popular because of the level playing field on which everyone starts. All characters start in the same place, with a set amount of gold to purchase starting equipment. As the players gain kills, they gain experience to level up their characters, opening up more skills. And then they upgrade their skills, gaining more gold with which to purchase equipment. Strife stands out from other MOBAs by making gold and experience shared among team members who participate in the kill, so squadmates aren't competing against each other. That also means that support characters -- that is, characters with skills that support their teams (healing, shields, crowd control) -- are more fun to play rather than their being the "sacrificial lamb" for the good of the team.  

In Strife, the online multiplayer game is further extended by single-player adventures provided for free. These mini role-playing games tell the characters' backstories, and players learn to use all their skills to get them through the adventure. Parents who play the game might be OK with younger kids playing the single-player games, as they're played offline. The largest drawbacks in games like this are the unmoderated language that kids will encounter when they play with strangers, the frustration of trying to coordinate with teammates who have unknown skills, and the long learning curve. Add to this the complexity of endless equipment variations (and, thus, character customization), and you could run into a lot of confusion for novice players. But this depth is one of the game's strongest selling points, so if you stick with trying to understand the nuances of Strife, you'll have a great time either by yourself or with friends.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of online safety and what kids should -- and shouldn't -- be sharing with strangers.

  • Discuss teamwork and communication in games like Strife. How does proper communication foster teamwork? Do you like playing with someone who's polite or rude? 

Game details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love playing games online

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate