A few years ago, my 10-year-old was begging to join Clash of Clans. When it comes to playing games, I have not advanced beyond Mario Kart. I had many questions. He patiently explained to me how it worked and why he wanted to join. We downloaded it on my phone to test it out and get an idea of how to protect my kid on this game. While I see why he loves this gaming app, I discovered a few things parents should know about Clash of Clans for kids and glad to share my parent's review for Clash of Clans with you.
Clash of Clans is a free game where players build a base, train troops and attack others bases. By wining battles, they win gold and move up the clan ladder. Game players can attack on their own or with a clan. Most children will want to join a clan. Once a player is part of a game clan, they can message each other to plan battles and ask for weapons and troops. A clan works together to coordinate attacks and win clan wars.
Clash of Clans is not only for Kids
The game is rated 10+ for Everyone on Google Play and 9+ on iTunes. With its whimsical cartoon warriors, this looks like a game designed for kids. Clash of Clans requires players to be at least 13 years old. So, that is not naive fun or educating kids' game. It is designed for kids and adults and has addictive game play. Many adult gamers are on the game and it makes Clash of Clans not so safe for kids.
Chatting with other Players on Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans begins as a single player game only. It is not until the player passes the second level can they switch to multiplayer. In multiplayer, they choose a username and begin chatting with other players.
Everyone playing can chat in the Global Chat. Global Chat is moderated and asterisks are used to screen swear words. Most messages are begging players to join their clan and a few ask for Kik usernames. Players can mute other players. Muting a player means you cannot see their messages but they can still see you. You can also report a player for inappropriate messages. Players who receive 7 reports are banned for 24 hours.
Once kids have a clan castle, they can join a clan. After joining a clan, kids start participating in clans game and can chat with only their fellow clan members in Clan Chat. While Global Chat is moderated, Clan Chat is not. It is up to the leaders of the clan to police the chat. Some clans do have rules such as no swearing while other clans are open to everyone and allow everything. Clan members cannot mute or report other members. Only the leaders of the clan can remove members.
To eliminate Clan Chat, players can choose not to join a clan. Without a clan, they can still play but will be unable to join forces with other players to launch clan wars and share resources. Another alternative is to form their own clan and play with friends. Unfortunately, playing with friends does not guarantee a worry free chat. Between teasing and trash talking, Clan Chat can get out of control and result in hurt feelings.
Kids should not:
- share their real names, email addresses or usernames from social networks
- use inappropriate language
- post hurtful messages
- hide behind anonymity
Especially if your children created their own kids'clans, a parent should join with their kids. This way parents can check in and keep a watchful on Clan Chat. By being present, they can help their child moderate clan messages and help kids clash safely.
Parents often ask me if there is a way to turn off the chat. The short answer is no. The chat window is closed and off to the left of the screen. While kids are playing Clash of Clans, they can open the chat window and chat with any player. There is no way to shut this feature off.
Some parents are curious if there is a way to monitor the chat without joining as a clan member. According to my short research within the game and through other parent reviews for Clash of Clans I have to say that you can't. Clash of Clans has not built-in parental controls and doesn't partner with any child monitoring software to keep track of conversations on Clan Chats. So, you will have to install Clash of Clans and join your child's clan to keep track of conversations on Clan Chat.
In-app Purchases in Clash of Clans
Besides Clan Chat, some kids run into trouble with in-app purchases. While Clash of Clans is free, kids buy additional gems in the store. Kids have racked up a large bill with in app purchases. Especially younger kids may believe this is only play money and not real money. Before building a castle, parents should turn off in-app purchases on the device. Clash of Clans has quite a bit of free stuff in the shop so kids can enjoy the game without buying more gems.
Surfing online, kids may see other websites that offer cheap gems or free stuff for Clash of Clans. Kids should be wary of these sites. These sites are often scams looking to collect your personal information, steal your money or give you a nasty virus. If they are going to buy gems, they should do so within the game.
Clash of Clans Never Sleeps
The big problem, I found with Clash of Clans is this game constantly calls to my son. After downloading Clash of Clans, my phone never stops beeping. Every time his village is raided or his clan launches an attack, I receive a notice. Players are from all over the world so clan wars occur throughout the night. When I turn on my phone in the morning, my son is greeted by a slew of notifications about raids and battles. This game demands constant attention and it is one more hidden danger of Clash of Clans for kids.
Every clan leader needs a break. However, with their village constantly under attack and their clan relying on them, kids may find it hard to leave the battlefield. Parental control software by Familoop can help kids put down the sword.
With Familoop Safeguard, parents can see how long their child spends playing Clash of Clans and they can choose to set appropriate time limits for games. By setting healthy boundaries on screen time and checking in on Clan Chat, parents can keep Clash of Clans safe and fun for their kids.
I hope my parent review for Clash of Clans to help you make informed decisions.