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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about historic events that led to the birth of human civilization and the factors that have governed and altered its growth. As Sid Meier's Civilization progresses, players gain understanding of significant developments in human history and how they led to even greater discoveries, inventions, and social and political advances. Players win by rapidly growing their civilizations in one of these disciplines: science, diplomacy, culture, or military. Players absorb lasting knowledge about the history of the world from the role of an empowered ruler.
This game explores how civilizations come into existence, thrive, and war with one another. It encourages players to experiment with various governments, policies, and ideologies to learn about their advantages and disadvantages as they guide societies toward military, cultural, diplomatic, scientific, or economic victory.
Positive Role Models
The game features a mix of 18 famous and infamous historical leaders, including George Washington, Queen Elizabeth, Napoleon, and Augustus Caesar. While each leader comes with his or her own tactical bonuses that may lend themselves to a particular way of playing, ruling style is determined solely by the player.
Ease of Play
Far and away the most accessible PC-based Civilization game to date, players’ hands are held through every step, with important information automatically popping up on screen and all available actions each turn shown in the bottom right corner. It can still be devilishly difficult on hard settings, but players should experience no trouble learning how to play.
Violence & Scariness
A wide variety of historical military units -- swordsmen, musketeers, tanks, and bombers -- fight each other from a bird’s-eye view. Faint cries of pain can be heard, and soldiers crumple and disappear when defeated. Nuclear explosions can wipe out entire cities. There is no blood or gore.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the game’s Civilopedia entries references the opium trade as part of a description of historical economics.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sid Meier’s Civilization V uses authentic historical elements -- famous leaders, nations, resources, military units -- to simulate non-historical empires. In other words, players can, say, lead Gandhi’s India through millennia of military rule or have Napolean’s France become an empire of diplomacy and science. Though the simulated history is fictional, players can still learn a great deal, not just about real-world figures, concepts, and units, but also how cultural, ideological, and geographical factors can change a world’s geopolitical landscape. Play necessitates the depiction of some violence, but it is presented from a high perspective and is quite mild. While it is the most accessible PC-based Civilization game to date, it is still a deep, complex, and demanding game that could prove frustrating for younger players. Keep in mind, too, that online play supports open text and voice chat. Common Sense Media does not recommend moderation-free online communication for pre-teens.
Is It Any Good?
Civilization V’s changes aren’t limited to simply making things more user-friendly. A new social policy system allows players to mix and match ideologies such as fascism and rationalism for strategic growth in areas like technology and population happiness. And the introduction of city-states that can be used as allies or pawns adds an entirely new element of strategy worthy of significant consideration.
What’s more, Civilization’s battles have never been better. Cities can now defend themselves, which means no more piling them full of soldiers you’d rather have on the front lines. And whereas players once stacked units into massive armies before merrily marching off to war, each unit now occupies its own space on the map, forcing players to strategically line up ranged attackers behind melee units in preparation for sieges. Simply put, it’s tons of fun. This season’s high-profile shooters might steal the spotlight for the moment, but if there’s one game released in 2010 that people will still be playing five years from now, it’s Civilization V.
Online interaction: Multiplayer supports open text and voice chat so players could hear unwanted and inappropriate communication.
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Our Editors Recommend
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