Britannica Kids: Ancient Rome




Roman culture made engaging and entertaining.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Navigating from one section to another is easily done via an unobtrusive wheel at the bottom of the page. Words that might be challenging to kids are highlighted and show definitions when touched. 

Violence & scariness

The app doesn't shy away from the history of gladiator duels. While it doesn't show violence being inflicted, it describes fights to the death, and one picture shows a victorious gladiator standing surrounded by corpses. 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

One of the selections on the navigation wheel is "Shop," which prominently features other Britannica Kids apps, including DinosaursVolcanoes, and Knights and Castles. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Britannica Kids: Ancient Rome is an educational app with a variety of ways for kids to learn about the rise of the Roman Empire. While it, of course, has encyclopedia-like entries (which, thankfully, don't run too long and risk losing the reader's attention), it also offers several games and quizzes to engage children ages 8 to 14. The app mentions some of the uglier parts of history, such as gladiator fights, but doesn't focus on the gore. Users can upload pieces of the app to their Facebook and Twitter pages as well as use location mapping to see where they are in proximity to the empire. 

What kids can learn


Social Studies

  • history
  • events
  • historical figures

Engagement, Approach, Support


You can't get lost: The slick navigation makes it easy for kids to explore a range of topics. The large amounts of text could turn off some kids, but the images and just-for-fun puzzles will boost their interest.

Learning Approach

Content is written mostly in the same form. Multimedia components are limited, although the interactive map helps kids connect history to their lives. Kids could more actively process information if they could annotate or highlight it.


It's not a complicated tool. Still, audio support would make the materials more accessible to kids with diverse learning needs.

What kids can learn


Social Studies

  • history
  • events
  • historical figures

Kids can learn about Ancient Rome and its culture -- covering everything from gladiators to the Caesars to Roman gods. The app presents information in variety of fashions, as well -- from encyclopedia entries to pictures and video to interactive quizzes and games. With its games, quizzes, photos, and videos, Britannica Kids: Ancient Rome brings a level of engagement to history, a subject some kids struggle to enjoy. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

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What's it about?

Kids can read a series of articles about the Ancient Roman culture and its gods. A spin wheel at the bottom of the app rotates between categories and a series of games, which include Brush-Off (where players uncover a picture by "brushing" away dust by wiping the screen with their hand), jigsaw puzzles (assembled by hand), pictures, and video.

Is it any good?


History can be boring -- and the encyclopedia is seen by many as the product of a bygone era -- but Britannica Kids: Ancient Rome is a wonderfully educational and entertaining way for kids to learn more about the Roman culture. There are the usual (and expected) walls of print, but they're not the chief focus -- and they're extra helpful, highlighting difficult words and offering definitions so kids don't get frustrated.

It's games like the timed quiz, magic square, and puzzles that kids are more likely to spend time with. While they'll learn less with these than they will by reading, they will be engaged and spend more time with the app. Britannica packs a lot of value into this one. 

Families can talk about...

  • Visit the library or a museum to learn more about Ancient Rome.

  • Encourage kids to use the quiz feature to test what they've learned. Encourage them to reflect on any items they missed, and to continue to explore the app to learn more.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:October 18, 2011
Size:171.00 MB
Publisher:Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of Britannica Kids: Ancient Rome was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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