Enercities

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

City building game focuses on green communities.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Encourages responsible resource management, keeping communities happy, and maintaining a healthy economy and environment. 

Positive role models

There are no characters.

Ease of play

Kids will easily grasp the simple drag-and-drop interface. Clearly labeled buildings and detailed tutorials make play intuitive and predictable.

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

There is an online community/forum associated with this game. There's little content involved, and it's not directly a part of the game.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Enercities is a stripped down SimCity-like educational game that teaches kids to be aware of the resource needs and patterns of successful communities as well as the impact of resource use on the environment. The issues addressed include economy, population size, environmental sustainability, quality of life, energy/power consumption, and resource management.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • energy

Social Studies

  • the economy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • strategy

Self-Direction

  • working efficiently

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids will dive into this intuitive and interesting SimCity-like game. They're likely to want to play again and again, trying to improve their performance and beat their high scores.

Learning Approach

Kids must make careful choices to manage the economy, energy grid, and population growth. This carries a powerful message about resource management, green energy, and the role of businesses in a community.

Support

A great tutorial and a clear scoring system start kids off on the right foot. The game supports 12 major languages, but the text is not read out loud for players. Extensive help is available through downloadable lesson plans.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • energy

Social Studies

  • the economy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • strategy

Self-Direction

  • working efficiently

Kids can learn how to manage resources, provide a greener environment for their population, and glean vague lessons on economics. By managing a limited amount of fossil fuels, kids learn how valuable and tenuous those nonrenewable energy resources are and to use solar, wind, and hydroelectric power sources to provide less damaging sources of power. In Enercities, kids see how cities must achieve a healthy balance, managing progress, economy, ecology, and community.

This Learning Rating review was written by Jenny Bristol

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What's it about?

In ENERCITIES -- a top-down, city-building sim similar to SimCity -- kids must grow a community while managing that community's resources responsibly, trying to succeed economically while also being environmentally friendly and keeping people happy. They have a limited amount of fossil fuels and can build houses, entertainment locations, city parks, industrial zones, and power plants. Kids may then upgrade buildings to make them more efficient and/or lessen their ecological impact.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Not as robust or deep as similar city sims, Enercities still manages to be poignant, benefitting from its focus on a few key issues. The simple gameplay and straightforward mechanics make it accessible while it still poses interesting and thought-provoking challenges. Kids should have some fun and learn a little about the critical role that energy production will play as population grows and resources dwindle.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss what they can do to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

  • How has this game affected the way you see the world and the energy we use?

  • Why do you think -- as the game argues -- people don't like to live near power plants? 

Game details

Platforms:Linux, Mac, Windows
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Available online
Developer:Paladin Studios
Release date:December 4, 2013
Genre:Educational
Topics:Science and nature

This review of Enercities was written by

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

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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