Dawn of Discovery Game Poster Image

Dawn of Discovery

Civilization-style game teaches about life in 1400 A.D.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

You are in control of this medieval world and you do good things like building cities and feeding people.

Positive role models

You play as a kindly prince who is a good role model because he wants to do well for the world.

Ease of play

This game has a learning curve to it. There's a lot to remember as far as building and taxing goes. Plus, your work is timed, which makes things harder. The story mode is easier with the continuous mode being much more challenging to play due to lack of a tutorial.


Mild violence includes using gallows in your town. You’ll see some bloodstains on it. Also, you'll use cannonballs to sink other ships. Fires can burn down your houses.


Pirates curse mildly, using 'damn' and 'hell.'

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are references to rum and, in the ending credits, to smoking hemp.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fun adventure game has a pirate theme, and thus there is rum and other alcohol references in the game. While it is about civilization-building, there is a gallows in your town and you'll see some bloodstains on it. Language such as 'damn' is employed, and you'll be exposed to cannonballs hitting ships and then sinking. When the credits roll, you'll hear someone talk about smoking hemp.

What's it about?

In DAWN OF DISCOVERY, just as in Civilization games, you'll learn a bit about history as you check out various civilizations and cultures. Here, you're the good son of England's King George. Your goal? Colonize the world and pack riches onto your ship to save the formerly merry ole England. The game’s graphics are presented as a graphic novel, and sometimes, they really seem 3D. Your first hours will include story mode missions featuring tutorials and banal, if necessary, dialog. In the process, you will build farms, warehouses, and ships and send back food to the homeland’s starving waifs. You’ll upgrade your villages all the way up to elite metropolitan centers. Just don’t raise taxes too much: as in real life, your population moans and groans about it. The main goal here: a gentle balance so all kinds of people thrive.

Is it any good?


Dawn of Discovery is a multi-layered game, one that will keep you occupied (and frantic) for hours upon hours. You can even play this game with friend using two Wii remotes. As you progress, you’re put in competition with your evil brother, and your missions get harder and seem timed. You will be motivated to succeed because if you don’t grow enough food for your settlers, they die with a sad smiley face. Despite some problems with graphics and poor drop-down menu placement, this is a fun strategy game to explore.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how video games can teach. Did this game show you what life would have been like if you existed in the 1400s? 

  • Do you think the Prince's behavior impacted the way you look at the world?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Available online?Not available online
Release date:June 23, 2009
ESRB rating:E10+ for Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Mild Violence

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Parent of a 8, 14, and 17 year old Written bySpecimenB July 2, 2012

Addictive and fun game safe for all ages

This is a sleeper of a great game. From what I can see, it doesn't have a lot of buzz, but the people who have spoken up about it have loved it. I bought it for my family and both I and my kids (ages ranging 8-16) really got hooked on this game. It's a town building game set in the 1400s that has both a sandbox mode and story line. There's building, resource management, exploration, sea and land battles and a fairly decent story plot. It even has limited multiplayer meaning someone can take a second controller and click on buildings and ships to give them a temporary boost. Overall, I can't really say anything bad about it. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys a casual, city building strategy game.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old June 28, 2009


What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models