Star Realms

LQ: 9.1


Brain grade: 8.6
Fun score: 9.6

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: , , , , , LWK Recommended Age: 8+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

Android | iOS | Steam

Star Realms is a strategy-based virtual card game similar to Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Each turn, players add cards to their collection in hopes of building the most effective deck.

The player can draw four different types of cards in the base game. Red allows you to remove cards from your deck. Green helps to build a lot of strength. Yellow gives you draw power and forces the opponent to discard cards.  Blue provides tons of health to outlast your opponent. Players earn coins, attack power, and health in hopes of outlasting their opponent.

If players enjoy the base game, there are a number of expansions available. Expansions keep the game fresh by adding new mechanics and extra cards to the mix. With both a solo campaign and a robust multiplayer mode, there will always be an opponent to fight.

The ESRB rated Star Realms E for Everyone. LW4K stands by this rating, though we do feel that players 8 and older get the most benefit from the thinking skill practice Star Realms has to offer.

Star Realms helps kids practice and improve the following skills:


Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

Star Realms asks players to build the best deck they possibly can, meaning that they need to focus on every choice being made. Whether or not to buy more cards that provide coins or attack, which colors they want to specialize in, etc. And with multiple games being played at any given point in time, focusing on what is present in each deck is important to maintain a competitive edge.

Additionally, players need to pay attention to what order they play cards in each round. There is a "play all" button that makes it easy to just throw all your cards on the table without regard for what's happening, but if players focus they'll notice that it's smart to play certain cards prior to others, activating helpful effects.


Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.

Each game will have players planning for what type of deck they build over the course of the match. Depending on the cards available, players may build based on colors, effects, or attempting to accumulate as much of one currency as possible. Regardless of how they build their deck, players will need to plan ahead for what they want and strategize around what cards they are taking. Ultimately, the winner will likely be the player who planned better than the other and was able to develop the better deck to use.


 While not all cards feature text, a number of cards a player can obtain during the game may have brief sentences describing the abilities they provide. In this way, Star Realms can be a great way to strengthen a player's reading abilities. The statements are short, so it never feels overwhelming, and the context of the cards provides encouragement to learn the words and the meaning of the sentences. Terms like "draw" and "discard" are featured, teaching words that players might otherwise not hear or learn about outside of a game such as this. In the solo campaign of the game, there are chunks of story told via paragraphs, and while a voice over is provided, it gives players a chance to once again exercise their reading abilities.

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