Dawn of Discovery

Game review by
Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media
Dawn of Discovery Game Poster Image
Civilization-style game teaches about life in 1400 A.D.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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 i... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 28, 2009

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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: UbiSoft
  • Release date: June 23, 2009
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Mild Violence
  • Last updated: August 31, 2016

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