Parents' Guide to

The Final Earth 2: Colony Sim

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

No-frills graphics, gameplay -- and an adequate experience.

Opening screen.

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Putting kids in charge of creating a new society is an interesting concept -- although the game may ultimately not be visually striking or challenging enough to capture their interest. The Final Earth 2: Colony Sim's 2-D minimalist graphics don't allow for much detail. Aside from nondescript residents shuffling back and forth across the piece of land you're developing, there isn't too much motion. Reading is a bigger component in the game. Kids set up ongoing wood and other building material collection efforts, selecting a certain number of workers to perform them. They won't see the work being done, but as it's completed, they'll be able to click on areas that are highlighted to stack new stone or wood squares onto previously added ones and create structures like an indoor farm or exploration center.

New game elements are introduced as kids play. Although the game offers suggestions -- to build more farms, assign more workers to them, or build farms closer to homes to reduce travel time -- they may not be a quick fix. While parents might feel a couple of aspects of the game are a little iffy -- such as focusing on citizens' well-being by building a pub -- generally, the messages that the game conveys are positive. Kids are responsible for tasks that need to be done, which involve looking out for other people. The game also touches on some social issues, although not in a particularly in-depth way. Kids can view a total count of how many residents are homeless, as well as some individual information about each person, such as their name, age, and education level. Clicking on a Change Job/Home button will presumably provide the person with a more stable housing status -- although that doesn't really seem to have much of an immediate effect. Progress, though, can still feel fairly slow -- and after awhile, the repetitive actions that are involved may start to make The Final Earth 2: Colony Sim feel a bit more like a to-do list than an actual game.

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