A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There's a minor element of community and prosperity within the settlements and battle units players will create, and while some of the campaigns feature moments of compassion and bravery, most of that becomes muted behind the constant threat and execution of war.
Positive Role Models
The "characters" featured within the game aren't developed enough to single out possible role models, and even then, the name of the game is war and crushing other clans' settlements.
The game places itself squarely within Norse mythology with various assortments of Vikings, creatures, and gods mentioned – or even directly interacted with. But the game doesn't really focus on any other ethnicities or groups outside of that.
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Ease of Play
While it may seem complicated on the surface, the campaigns expertly walks even novices to the RTS (real-time strategy) genre through every mechanic at a perfect pace. In some instances, though, selecting units or placing buildings can get bothersome when things are packed closely together.
Violence & Scariness
As players will always have a detached, top-down perspective on everything that's going on, the violence comes off as relatively tame compared to other games about fighting and war. But blood is spilled between opposing groups in the heat of battle, and axes, spears, and hammers (to name a few) will factor into these conflicts.
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There's mild profanity within the campaigns, such as "damn" or "hell," but it's very infrequent.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Players can collect ingredients to create mead, an alcoholic beverage used to keep residents happy and content, but players will never see anyone drinking or getting drunk. There are also small references to mead and other alcoholic beverages sprinkled within the game's campaigns.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Frozenheim is a RTS (real-time strategy) game available for Windows. Based in Norse mythology, players will collect resources, build settlements, and arm their battle units for war against anyone who steps in their way -- along with ensuring that their own residents are happy. With war being one of the game's foremost features, players will equip their armies with axes, spears, hammers, bows and arrows, and a host of other weapons in order to defend themselves -- or take over other nearby settlements. Blood will be shed during these struggles, but there's no explicit graphic imagery or gore. While there's a "Campaign Mode" with small stories players can enjoy, there's no dedicated focus given to any one character or conflict, making any positive messages or role models practically nonexistent. Where some strategy games can come off as overly complicated and intimidating to new players, Frozenheim deliberately makes sure the player understands everything before leaving them to do what they want, but the selection of certain objects or battle units can become frustrating if things are placed close together.
Is It Any Good?
There's something to be said for a game centered around war and conflict being as equally calm and serene as it is tense and exciting. Frozenheim is a fun entry into the RTS (real-time strategy) world for those who may not be too familiar with the genre. Here, players have the freedom to customize the experience they want, which could simply be building settlements, keeping their people happy, and never seeing a rival settlement or group step foot on their grounds. Or, players could choose violence and chaos, both frantically ensuring that resources are being properly gathered and maintained while also slaughtering endless hordes of vicious Vikings ready to burn their settlement to ashes. Both of those play styles – and the variants in-between you can tweak – offer a lot when it comes to respecting whatever the player wants to do.
Frozenheim executes its strategy elements in engaging ways that keeps the gameplay interesting. Some units can discover landmarks and events while traveling beyond your settlement, which can offer additional resources or specific buildings that are only accessible by leaving your comfort zone. Building up your communities and living through the seasons without incident is relaxing, and figuring out how to come out on top of a rival settlement that has larger numbers than yours is an accomplishment all on its own. If the game suffers from anything, it's that there's, ironically, too much player freedom. Where some RTS titles maintain their core gameplay loop of allowing players to build while constantly staging new, dynamic scenarios to keep players on their toes over a long period of time, Frozenheim peaks early by depending on players to create "fun" for themselves as the campaigns will fly by in a flash, leaving players directionless when it's all said and done. That aside, Frozenheim has more than enough style and substance to inspire players to be kind, giving leaders – or bloodthirsty conquerors – amongst their Viking kin.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.