Genshin Impact is an adventure game with role-playing elements that is set in a fantastical open world. You explore the different environments like the Zelda games. You collect items and craft weapons. Here though, the game is on a wide range of systems and you control a party of four characters.
Rating: PEGI 12+
Release Date: 27/09/2020
Platforms: Android, PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS.
The game is popular because of the large open world that you can approach in different ways. There are various quests that follow the main story and introduce a wide range of playable characters. These enable you to expand your group as well as advance your skill levels.
It's a huge game that looks beautiful. There are mountains to climb and stamina to manage. You can take to the air across the open world, swim through rivers and seas, and climb huge mountains. Whether you stick to the road or stray off the beaten path, there's all manner of hidden secrets and stories to discover.
You can play Genshin Impact with 4 other players online. You can play online with people on other systems: PlayStation, iOS, PC. The online multiplayer element of the game is unlocked at Adventure Rank 16. This includes chat to other players via text. Together you take on tasks and side quests but you can't progress the story, which is paused while in online play.
You can control how players interact to others online via the Family Settings on the system you are using. It's also important to play the game together with your teenager and set boundaries about online communication.
Genshin Impact is free to start playing, although it does offer additional in-game purchases for items that enhance the experience. Some of these purchases (known as 'loot boxes') are for a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent. These in-game purchases also offer a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game.
It's worth noting that although you can spend money in this way to speed up access to characters and enhance your experience, you can do everything in the game without additional spend. There aren't big roadblocks that force you into spending money.
You can control how much can be spent in the game via the Family Settings on the system you are using. On the PlayStation, for example, you can set a weekly pocket money amount.
This game is rated PEGI 12 because it features depictions of non-realistic looking violence towards human-like characters. The VSC Rating Board expand on this rating by stating that, "this game contains frequent depictions of non-realistic looking violence towards human-like characters. Impacts result in the appearance of bright lights and magical effects, with numbers showing the amount of damage that has been inflicted. Characters occasionally let out pained cries and stumble backwards, although no visible injuries are shown. When a character has been defeated, they stagger backwards and then dissolve away into flecks of blue light."
If your child is not old enough to play this, or you'd prefer an offline experience, there are some excellent similar games to Genshin Impact:
Go Vacation (PEGI 3)
No Man's Sky (PEGI 7)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (PEGI 12)
Ni no Kuni (PEGI 12)