Common Sense Review
Updated November 2013

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes

Strategy game not ideal for classrooms but has at-home potential
Common Sense Rating 2
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
  • When creating a new game in Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, players first choose or create a hero to play.
  • Players can direct what a city should be building next, which is dependent on the city’s local resources.
  • When fighting roaming monsters or enemy nations, the game zooms into a tactical view of the combat!
  • Players can choose which path they want to take to victory, including forging alliances with the other nations in the game or researching a master spell.
  • Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes’s research tree.
Pros
Lots of interesting choices help students understand cause-and-effect relationships.
Cons
A slow build, and tough to weave into a classroom.
Bottom Line
It's a challenge to implement and not for everyone, but students who get hooked will sharpen systems thinking skills and learn a little civics.
Mark Chen
Common Sense Reviewer
Researcher
Common Sense Rating 2
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

For the right player, Legendary Heroes passes the ultimate "I'll just play one more turn" test. For others, it might be a bit too slow-paced.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 2

Although it's not meant to teach traditional subject matter, it rewards systems thinking and provides players with enough detailed tool tips and kingdom reports to help kids reflect on the effects of their decisions.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 2

It can be overwhelming, even though there's a tutorial mission with videos for most of the basics. More help can be found in a built-in encyclopedia, but some necessary information can only be found online.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

The biggest drawback is that a single game could take dozens of hours, and it can take a few games to really get a handle on everything Legendary Heroes has to offer. Because of this, it's a tough game to implement in a classroom. Instead, consider it an option for differentiated learning; it'll work well for a subset of students who are drawn to game-based learning, focus well, and like to think about systems and how things work. Since these students will be planning policies, setting tax levels, conducting diplomatic relations with neighboring nations, setting research goals, and planning city growth all within the game, there's no doubt they'll have a lot of connections to make with civics learning. To encourage analysis, have students write a running blog where they document how their play mirrors real-life issues in politics and government.

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What's It Like?

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes takes place in a fantasy world reeling from a cataclysmic event that has released bands of roaming monsters and destroyed much of civilization. It follows a long-established tradition of turn-based strategy games featuring nation building and expansion like Civilization. Legendary Heroes maintains core features like city and citizen management while adding troop-level tactical combat and character-level customization, including character leveling and upgradable equipment. The geography and other heroes that players encounter are randomized with each new game, and different stories emerge depending on how players respond to these circumstances. The total package works quite well as a deep, strategic game where players have a lot of fine detail control over government (such as setting tax rates) and hero development.

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Is It Good For Learning?

For students who love all things fantasy -- magical spells, legendary kingdoms, and monsters -- it'll serve as a great introduction to strategy games, one of the more thinky game genres. Once in, players learn how different levels of decisions -- from larger kingdom-wide policies to smaller ground-level hero movement and tactical combat -- affect each other. There's also enough detailed information to see how different choices affect city growth and production, allowing kids to think about larger economic and social issues and to draw connections to the world around them. Is it better to build up the military, or treasuries and money-generating infrastructure? There are pros and cons for each decision, and players are rewarded for trying things out and finding different solutions.

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See how teachers are using Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes