What Parents need to know about Clash of Clans

clash clan iconMy 10-year-old has been begging to join Clash of Clans. I knew a lot of his friends were playing the game but I had not really looked at it. I told him one rainy day we would sit down together and check out Clash of Clans. A few weeks ago, as the rain drops fell, I sat down for a tour and he wrote a review. So, first my son will tell you about the game and why kids loves it then I will fill you in on what you need to know.

From my 10-year-old:

Clash of clans is game where you build a base, train troops and attack others bases, or play single player. If you win, you get trophies, which moves you up in leagues. What league you are in is based on how many trophies you have. You lose trophies if you lose an attack or someone attacks you when you’re not playing. The leagues are bronze, silver, gold, masters and champions.

In order to join a clan, you need to get 40,000 in gold to rebuild your clan castle. You get gold by building or updating your gold mines. When you finish your clan castle you join a clan so members of your clan can donate you troops. You can also go into a clan war which is where you battle other clans.

Kids like clash of clans because you get to build a base and attack other clans and people. I like building a base because you can make just the way you like it and if you start to not like your base  you can change any time you like. Kids also like interacting with people in your clan and on the global chat because you can work together to make a good clan and win clan wars and everyone loves attacking because it is just fun.”


I agree Clash of the Clans is a fun game. Kids get to create a village as well as plan battle strategies. The rating on iTunes is 9+ due to cartoon violence. The game does collect some personal information so it requires users to be at least 13 years old. We had to initially connect using my Google+ profile. After logging in, we were able to go in to settings and disconnect these accounts so my friends were not bombarded with Clash of Clan updates. Continue reading

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Tips and Settings for New Game Consoles

esrb family picThis holiday season, sales of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are over 2 million each. After December, many families will have a new gaming console. Experts are finding kids playing age-appropriate games can have social as well as cognitive benefits. The important piece is for parents to make sure kids are playing the right game and staying safe. To help parents this holiday season, the ESRB has come out with tips for families.

Before playing a game, parents should investigate the controls on their new consoles. Many consoles allow parents to restrict games based on their ESRB rating, as well as set the amount of time kids can play and who they can communicate with online. To set the limits that are right for your family, the ESRB offers instructions for the Xbox One/Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and 3, and the Wii U.

No setting is full proof. While searching the web for parental controls, I found just as many videos and website explaining how to bypass family settings. The best way to keep your kids safe (and make sure the parental controls are still in place) is to sit down and play a game with them.

The ESRB offers these 5 tips for choosing great games and staying safe online.

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Parents and Kids Gaming Together – Fingerprint releases more family games

gaming iconWhile looking up information about video games and kids, I notice most articles feature either a picture of a young kid glued to an iPad or a teen in a dark room staring at a screen. These images are not entirely accurate. According to a survey from the Entertainment Software Association, over half of parents polled play video games with their kids at least once a month and a third play once a week. In fact, 52% of parents say video games are a positive part of their child’s life.

I find the challenge is finding a game the entire family wants to play together. Last April, I spoke with Nancy MacIntyre  the CEO of Fingerprint about designing family games. Fingerprint’s philosophy is “to develop games that are fun for the whole family, but safe for kids.” Their game Flying Alphabetinis is proof that it is possible to create fun, safe and social games for both parents and kids. 

Now, Fingerprint in partnership with TigerFace Games has launched several more games for families. These new apps allow kids and parents to play as a team or go head-to-head using a single tablet. As an added bonus, these games are educational helping kids with math, science, reading and languages. 

Cosmic Reactor and Quick Tap are available now and the other two games will be out by the end of September. Right now, these games are for the iPad only. Us, Android users, will have to wait a little longer. If you are looking for a family game, check out these 4 new games by Fingerprint. Continue reading