Shrek’s Fairytale Kingdom is a freemium game for iPhone and iPad

We’ll admit to being torn on this one. Millions of children around the world love Shrek, so a new app is big news.

Yet Shrek’s Fairytale Kingdom is a ‘freemium’ game that makes its money from in-app payments, from the same publisher that made Smurfs’ Village.

That’s not to say it’s bad, evil and wrong: just that parental caution is advised. The game sounds quite fun: a familiar town-building game except in this case, the town is Shrek’s swamp.

You have to build logs, mudbaths and other home comforts, but there are also quests where you venture elsewhere alongside characters like Fiona, Donkey and Lord Farquaad.

Social features include the ability to “connect to your friends’ Kingdoms for in-game bonuses and social multipliers”, and there’s a digital storybook element too, telling the tale of Shrek’s adventures. It’s all good on that score.

So, in-app purchases. Coins and magic stars, which are bought in various quantities. 2,000 coins cost £2.99, then there are options for 4,500 (£6.99), 12,000 (£17.49), 30,000 (£34.99) and 80,000 (£69.99). For stars, you’ll get 150 for £2.99, then it’s 350 (£6.99), 950 (£17.49), 2,000 (34.99) and 5,000 (£69.99)

You’ll want to be on top of your IAP settings if you’re handing your iOS device over to your child to play Shrek’s Fairytale Kingdom, and you may need to prepare for some pestering if the game makes them feel spendy. £69.99 IAP in a Shrek game? I’m uncomfortable with this, to be honest.

In mitigation, there is a prominent message the very first time you open the game warning you about the use of IAP, and reminding you that you can disable the option.

That said, as soon as you complete the introductory tutorial, you’re pitched a “onetime special offer” to pay £6.99 for 525 magic stars (right), which feels very cynical.

What do you think about the IAP aspects? Share your views with a comment.

2 thoughts on “Shrek’s Fairytale Kingdom is a freemium game for iPhone and iPad

  1. Pingback: Free-to-play children’s apps: it’s time for a proper debate |

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