Australian Council on Children and the Media

Empires & Allies - Zynga

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Short takes

Empires & Allies is a quest-and-timer war strategy game.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Empires & Allies was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 May 2015.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Empires & Allies
Developed by: Zynga
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Medium Maturity, iTunes Store: 12+.
ACCM suggested age: 16+ for in-app purchases and frequent animated violence.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Empires & Allies contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This review focuses on levels: 1-10.

App description

Empires & Allies is a timer and quest app based on war. The objective of the game is to build a city with a force of troops capable of defending it. Players go on to battle enemy troops and win rewards. There are limited skills needed, but strategy and motor skills may be useful.

Reviewers comments

When the app is first opened, players are informed that they must sign in via a Google+ account. Players are unable to proceed to gameplay without signing into a personal account.

Upon commencing gameplay, players are taken to a birds-eye view of a battle camp and are introduced to a male character named General Shepherd. He states that “Intel has located a Global Revolutionary Army outpost, and we need you to wipe them out”. Players are then instructed to tap on the icon of a plane to “use A-10s to destroy enemy defences”. Players then witness planes flying over the camp, firing machine guns and destroying the area. Players are subsequently encouraged to tap on an icon of tanks in order to deploy troops. They then witness an animated sequence of light infantry and tanks destroying the enemy camp, whilst the health bars of opposing troops and their buildings are seen to decline. Players are then encouraged to fire a missile at the base, and use flares to direct troops. Players have the capacity to zoom in, or zoom out of the battlefield. During animated battle sequences, troops of both sides can be seen to be shot and to fall dead on the ground. Upon winning the battle, players are presented with a pop-up victory screen, displaying the “spoils of war” in the form of resources, the number of casualties of their own troops, and the level they are now on.

After this, players are introduced to Lieutenant Ava who welcomes them to the base and introduces herself as the Comms Officer. She informs players that they should secure the perimeter by building a defence before the terrorist organisation GRA retaliates. Players can access an in-game menu of building options divided into 3 categories: defences (incorporating things such as guard towers, domed defences, rally flags, and land mines); resources (eg: oil derrick, fuel stockpile, supply drop, steel factory etc); and operations (eg: troop tarmac, storage bunker, research agency, alliance building). When a player places one of these structures onto the field, they are presented with a length of time the building will take to be completed. It is possible to skip this waiting period by using in-game items. Players are encouraged to “rush” the building and deployment of troops with pop-up windows.

As players progress through the game by strengthening their army base and troop forces, they may join alliances with other players online, battling against opponents collectively. Players will also be forced to defend their territories from other human players online.

In App purchasing

Players can make purchases within the in-app purchases store, utilising real-life currency. They may purchase cases of gold as: 500 for $6.49, 1200 for $12.99, 2500 for $24.99, 6500 for $64.99, and 14000 for $129.99.

Online information

As players progress through the game by strengthening their army base and troop forces, they may join alliances with other players online, battling against opponents collectively. Players will also be forced to defend their territories from other human players online.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

The extensive in-app purchasing and time-lag features may encourage the spending of real-life money in order to deal with potential impatience. Additionally, the high level of animated wartime violence may pose a risk to younger players.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

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The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.