What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Smurfs & Co is a simulation game based on the Smurfs license that is played through the Facebook social network. The game is free to play, but players can purchase and use Facebook Credits to advance faster. The game can be time-intensive, and players must either rely on Facebook friends who are also playing the game to exchange items and help out with quests, or pay to unlock the quests themselves. While the game will appeal to players younger than 13, Facebook requires kids to be at least 13 to sign up for an account.
What's it about?
In THE SMURFS & CO, players create a new Smurf village by clearing weeds and rocks and building structures (a concept similar to FrontierVille) while searching for ingredients for a special potion to repel the sorcerer Gargamel. New buildings increase happiness, which causes celebrity Smurfs (such as Brainy, Handy, and Greedy) to visit with new quests. Like FrontierVille and other Facebook games, it's essential to add Facebook friends who are also playing as neighbors in The Smurfs & Co in order to advance through the game's higher level quests.
Is it any good?
The Smurfs & Co captures the mood of the Smurfs' license nicely, with visuals that are plucked straight from the popular cartoon. As players progress in the game they'll be rewarded by getting to interact with more and more "celebrity" Smurfs, whose individual character traits shine through in fun dialog snippets and special quests. However, players will need to convince some Facebook friends to join the game (or "friend" strangers for that purpose) since having neighbors is essential to progress beyond a certain point -- unless, of course, players are willing to pay to unlock certain quests and items.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether this is a good representation of the Smurfs franchise. What makes a good license-based game vs. a bad one?
Families can talk about online privacy and staying safe while online. Players should consider putting strangers on limited profile so they can play the game together but not be able to view private and personal profile information.