Warrior's Way

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Warrior's Way Game Poster Image
Bloodless war game can be exciting, boring at same time.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Combat, conquering for the sake of combat, conquering. No moral, political rationale provided. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The player's Mii avatar is an eager warlord who wants to build a massive army, take over the world.

Ease of Play

Rock-paper-scissors-style combat easy to understand; players need to do simple math to figure out whether their side stands a chance against opponents.

Violence

Large armies of archers, pikemen, cavalry wage war on sprawling battlefields. Combat is very brief, shown by two sides rushing each other from bird's-eye view. Players see close-up of a few warriors leaning in toward each other before the losing side sprawls backward, defeated but neither injured nor killed.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Warrior's Way is a downloadable 3DS StreetPass game where large armies of soldiers attack each other on sprawling battlefields, but action is tamer than you might expect. Players watch the two sides from a very high view as they rush each other, then see a close-up of some soldiers leaning in to attack before the losing side falls back. The fray takes only two or three seconds, without blood or death shown. That said, these battles are waged simply for land and soldiers, not moral or political reasons. Parents also should note that this game requires StreetPass to be enabled for players to meet other Mii armies. StreetPass is a relatively safe form of social connectivity that doesn't permit real-time communication, but it does allow players to swap very short text greetings that could contain small amounts of identifying information.

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What's it about?

The objective of WARRIOR'S WAY is simple: Conquer the world. But getting there takes a lot of time. Players start with a tiny army and a small castle, then set about growing their forces by meeting other Mii avatars via 3DS StreetPass (the player's Mii greets other Miis at the castle gate). If they don't have an army (meaning they don't own Warrior's Way), they'll give players a group of soldiers equal to the number of people they've met via StreetPass. If they do have an army, the player can choose to fight them and, upon victory, retain a small percentage of the enemy force as their own. Combat is a game of rock/paper/scissors with groups of archers, pikemen, and cavalry each holding an advantage and disadvantage against one of the other groups. When your army grows large enough, you can choose to attack one of 20 computer-controlled countries using these same battle mechanics. The end goal is to conquer every kingdom on the map.

Is it any good?

Warrior's Way is essentially a series of meet-and-greet moments punctuated by occasional battles. Your progression rate will depend on the type of people you tend to meet via StreetPass. If you don't often run into other people who play Warrior's Way, you won't have many opportunities to build your army quickly via battles, meaning it may well take years (literally years) to build your army and defeat all the countries necessary to win the game. If this turns out to be your situation, Warrior's Way may be the dullest of all the StreetPass games yet released -- especially since its simplistic battles are based more on numbers and luck than any real skill.

But if you happen to have a circle of friends who play Warrior's Way and can swap StreetPass data with them regularly (or tend to frequent places such as game shops and Nintendo Zones, where StreetPass connections are more likely to happen), you can build your army much faster, speeding up progress and making the campaign a little more exciting. Still, building an army in Warrior's Way sometimes feels like a chore rather than a truly entertaining interactive experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about online safety. Which precautions should you take to ensure that information posted in your StreetPass greeting doesn't reveal too much about you? What would you do if you encountered a greeting that contained or solicited identifying information?

  • Discuss war. When, if ever, is it OK for one country to go to war against another? Do you think Warrior's Way ought to include a narrative that attempts to justify combat or the hero's goal of taking over the world?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
  • Price: $4.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: July 17, 2013
  • Genre: Strategy
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Fantasy Violence

For kids who love strategy

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