DEEP DIVE

A parent’s guide to Clash of Clans

Wondering about the cartoony strategy game all the kids are playing?

Clash of Clans

Lead Your Clan to Victory!

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If your child loves videogames, you’ve probably heard of Clash of Clans, the strategic battler that’s all the rage with tweens and teens. Wondering what the fuss is all about?

Start by downloading the game yourself. It’s free, and being up to speed goes a long way when you’re besieged with requests for more screen time. Here are a few common questions from parents, answered.

    Clash of Clans

    Lead Your Clan to Victory!

    VIEW

What do you do in the game?

In Clash of Clans, you create a cartoony medieval village from scratch. To construct fortifications and amass troops, you’ll gather resources (called gold and elixir) and use them to build barracks, cannons, archer towers and more.

Battles usually last five to 10 minutes and can’t be paused. Something to note when your child begs for “just one more match”.

There’s more to the game than erecting buildings, however. Your village faces constant attack by opponents. This happens even when you don’t have the game on! Launching raids of your own is half the fun, giving you the chance to smash through another player’s defences.

As far as the violence goes, think PG movie. You won’t see blood or gore, but colourful explosions fill the screen during combat. When troops die, they scream and turn into ghosts.

And that’s fun because?

In the Clan Wars mode, friends can team up to battle other players online.

Kids love creating elaborate villages and powerful armies, but the game’s social aspect is also a huge part of its appeal. By joining clans with their friends, they get to play together against opponents of all ages from around the world.

Be prepared for occasional drama. Players quit clans, start their own and bicker about it all. It’s the videogame equivalent of squabbling over kickball teams at recess.

Who is my kid talking to?

Remind kids to never share personal info in the text chat window.

Clash of Clans has a chat window, where players can type messages to anyone else in the game. As with any form of online messaging, you’ll get everything from upbeat encouragement to open hostility here.

What if I don’t want my child talking to strangers?

Although you can’t turn off chat, you can close the window by tapping the orange arrow on the right side.

The game filters out most bad language. You can also mute bothersome players and report bad behaviour by tapping the offending message.

It may be helpful to know that although chatting is an integral part of the experience for most kids, it isn’t essential. You can play (and succeed) without it.

How much will it cost me?

Don’t want your child spending money in the game? No problem.

Clash of Clans is free to play, but timers limit how often you can build and upgrade your village and troops. In-app purchases starting at 99 cents allow you to buy gems that speed up or possibly remove those limits.

Prefer not to spend money? Kids can simply put the game down until their next upgrades are available without paying.