Parents' Guide to

Through the Darkest of Times

By Chris Morris, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Enthralling, slightly flawed strategy game makes you think.

Through the Darkest of Times Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

While it's far from perfect, there's something about this adventure that makes the game impossible to walk away from. Through the Darkest of Times offers a chilling look at life in Nazi Germany and showcases how some people fought back, even as the dangers to them and loved ones increased exponentially. As a player, you desperately want to know how things end for those characters. The game's accurate enough to not let you change history. Hitler's horrific war crimes will happen no matter what you do. And people will still be mesmerized by him despite your actions, but it teaches you that perseverance isn't always easy and you have to fight for what you believe in. From a pure gameplay perspective, it's also fun, requiring you to make smart choices as you weigh risks vs. rewards. If an ally is taken prisoner, do you risk other operatives to get him or her out of jail? Or do you hope they're released by authorities after a few turns? Do you raise cash in an area with a heavy Nazi presence or do you risk not having sufficient funds to accomplish another task? It's the sort of decision making that hooks you hard as a player.

There are some problems, though. The tutorial system doesn't do a good job of explaining how to do things like make a bomb (required for some missions) or how and when to use allies you've recruited. Too often, you feel like you're on a treadmill, recruiting supporters and cash, but not doing much to further the resistance in a meaningful way. And the developers draw a clumsy line from the events of the German government during World War II to the current U.S. administration via news in-game headlines (i.e. "Hitler says he wants to drain the swamp"). Regardless of your political beliefs, it felt out of place in a game that seems to do its best teaching by reflecting on the past. The good outweighs the bad, though, and you'll find yourself coming back to the game again and again to see how it ends, something that's increasingly rare these days.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, Android
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: May 12, 2020
  • Category: Strategy Games
  • Topics: History
  • Publisher: HandyGames
  • Version: 1.0.8
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 13.0 or later; Requires Android 6.0 and up
  • Last updated: May 15, 2020

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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

See how we rate