Crisis of Nations

Common Sense Media says

Civics game about running a country in global economy.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Crisis of Nations is a straightforward, online game that encourages players to think and rewards players with extra resources depending on positive decisions made. If an imposition occurs that requires 4 military, 3 economics and 3 policy units, and one player draws from his or her own resource pool and dedicates the majority of the resources toward solving the problem, they may get bonus units for being altruistic and putting the world's needs ahead of self goals. In addition, other nations may become friendlier and use resources willingly, rather than being forced because of diplomatic efforts.

Positive role models

Players create their own role models through actions within the game world. A player can be world-centered, dedicate as many resources as possible, and create good will with the other three nations. A player that does not help with a crises may find himself or herself targeted by the other three players and forced (through impositions) to use hoarded resources.

Ease of play

There is a tutorial in Crisis of Nations that will guide players through the basics of the game. Some elements, such as working through the use of impositions, might be a bit harder for younger players to understand, but generally the game does a solid job in being accessible.

Violence

Crisis of Nations is played online in a board-style game setting. The crises that arise each turn are text-based and there is no on-screen violence. Impositions (when players force another player to dedicate resources) are also text-driven and there are no effects to show lost units.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No safety concerns. The game is played through the iCivics.org site, and there is a lobby to join a game, but players have to be members of a civics-style class to join. There is no interaction between players outside of the game, and players cannot text-chat with one another within the game setting. Teachers can use this resource in the classroom and create teams of players for cooperative gaming. Players must register on the site to access the game.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Crisis of Nations is played through the iCivics.org website, and is primarily an educational tool. In order to access the game, registration on the site is mandatory. The game can also be accessed through a Facebook account.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • the economy
  • global awareness
  • government

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • set objectives
  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • teamwork
  • group projects

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Played like a board game with kids taking turns, Crisis of Nations lets kids experiment with solving global crisis as they control a small country. The graphics are just OK and the game quickly gets repetitive.

Learning Approach

Kids learn about global conflict by playing this simulation game where they must use their country's limited resources to avert international problems including war, famine, and natural disasters.

Support

A tutorial explains the basic gameplay, and then kids learn by playing through different games and trying strategies. Students can also access help in the game.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • the economy
  • global awareness
  • government

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • set objectives
  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • teamwork
  • group projects

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions

Kids can learn how to utilize resources to meet world crises while strategizing toward game goals for their nation. By being aware of what other nations are doing, kids can try to reason out what others are collecting. They can choose to spy on those nations, use diplomacy, or use impositions (military might) to force nations to use hoarded resourses to meet global problems. Crisis of Nations is a simulation about running a country in a global market, and players learn to be aware of global issues and the effect those issues may have if not met head on.

This Learning Rating review was written by Michael Lafferty

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What's it about?

In CRISIS OF NATIONS, players take control of a small country and are tasked with using resources to solve the crises that occur on each turn. The goal is to collect 15 of a pre-determined resource (the computer sets a different goal for each of the four nations in each game). At the end of each crisis, players are rewarded for successfully averting the problem. Players also receive random resource rewards at the end of each round. Countries can use impositions (when players force another player to dedicate resources) to require other nations to utilize resources toward solving a crisis. Each game can last from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the random crises that plague the world and what resources are needed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Crisis of Nations is a decent game, but it suffers from too much randomness. The game is set up to be simple and easy to learn, and players ages 9 and older should have no problems with the basic concepts. There might be a bit of frustration, though, when players get close to accomplishing the goal of collecting 15 of the target resources, only to have other computer characters suddenly target them with impositions to deplete the resources. In several games my country sat at 12 resources, only to have crisis arise that required those resources and other nations hit me with impositions that took my 12 down to eight. To make matters worse, the crisis was not averted and there were no rewards. Graphically the game is fine, but the music (it can be turned down or off) is repetitive.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether games are an effective means of teaching civics.

  • Talk about resource management and how to budget resources to meet needs while working toward greater goals.

  • Talk about problems facing nations of the world and possible solutions.

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Not available online
Developer:iCivics.org
Release date:January 15, 2012
Genre:Educational
ESRB rating: for (Windows)

This review of Crisis of Nations was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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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