Civilization 4 Game Poster Image

Civilization 4



Strategy game for tweens & up spans world history.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players make many choices for their civilization. For example they can choose to enact slavery or not, or institute a state-religion or not.


Players can see armies in battle but only from a distance.






Part of a series of games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game doesn't contain much objectionable content, but it is a challenging game that may be more enjoyable for tweens and teens. The game encourages strategy and teaches some history, politics, and civics. Parents should note that the game is very time-consuming -- be sure to set time limits before playing. Also, the game can be played online, which could slightly alter the content of the game --Common Sense Media does not recommend online play for kids under 12.

What's it about?

CIVILIZATION IV, like its predecessors designed by legendary Sid Meier, is a turn-based strategy game, making it slower and more methodical than time-based games. Playing as a historical leader -- like Gandhi -- players start a civilization and develop it through the ages, hoping to eventually rule the world. Players interact with neighboring civilizations, either choosing peaceful trade agreements or to go to war.

Is it any good?


There is a lot of strategy involved. Players must carefully consider how their decisions will affect their civilizations. Enact slavery? Choose a state religion? Some decisions influence culture, others productivity, and others military strength.

But players learn more than strategy. Historical quotes are scattered throughout the game, and an interactive Civilpedia defines various civil and government structures. Firaxis' Web site has an area for educators, since many use the Civilization series of games as a tool to teach politics, civics, and history. With a 200+-page manual and a steep learning curve, Civilization IV can be daunting, but players who stick it out will be rewarded with a deep, challenging game that even weaves in some educational material.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the use of video games like this one in the classroom. Are they effective teaching tools, even if they are not specifically designed to be educational? How can teachers enrich the experience for their students?

Game details

Available online?Available online
Release date:January 16, 2006
ESRB rating:E10+ for Violence

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Kid, 12 years old July 31, 2010

Perfection on a disc

This game has one flaw-if you put computer player in your game, they are REALLY GOOD, but this can be sidestepped by ussing Hot Seat and playing against yourself, which is more fun than it sounds. So, basically, this game is perfect. It is won or lost on your intellegence and logic for the best option in the circumstances. The Civilpedia is a virtual history book and sometime I'll spend hours just reading that. And this game let's you do something that you have always wanted to do-play God over the world. Also, if the battle odds are below 100%, you will always lose. Always.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 15 years old Written bybradeblo March 14, 2013


little violence but no blood and gore. I say 4+ cause i started playing it at 4 and it only took 1 day too learn how to play it. but it's a little educational because it teachs you. and it is hard work to finish the game. i still play it now and i been playing it for about 8 years. and i'm at the FUTURE 80825 AD.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old February 26, 2012

Buy This Not Civ V!

Who the poop wrote this review? THIS IS THE MOST EDUCATIONAL GAME I HAVE EVER PLAYED!!! I began playing this game when I was 8. 8! You can play as a real civilization, led by a real, historical leader, in a fictional world, OR you can play a scenario eg. Rise of Rome, Viking Conquest etc. Civ V RUINED all of this, this game is way more educatonal and way cheaper.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models


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