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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Generally follows historic take on events of World War II, while also offering opportunity to play with "what if?" scenarios where players can, through their actions, change course of history for better, worse.
Positive Role Models
Players can take control of any nation existing during events of WWII, including both Allied, Axis forces. While some historic characters that appear could be considered both positive, negative role models, their presence has no overwhelming effect on gameplay.
Ease of Play
Without question a complex, complicated game. Players have to use micromanagement, macromanagement skills to make effective use of troops, resources. There's no shortage of menus, options players need to learn how to use; many are convoluted, confusing.
Violence & Scariness
While never portraying violence directly, game is a recreation of events of Second World War, recreates one of the most violent events in human history.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some portraits show characters smoking pipes, cigars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hearts of Iron IV is a downloadable strategy game that puts players in control of events leading up to and throughout World War II. The game challenges players to manage troops, resources, intelligence, and more, with their decisions directly affecting the course of history. While there's a definite historic aspect to the game, players' choices can also lead to "what if?" scenarios significantly different from how history actually played out. Although the game doesn't feature any graphic portrayals of violence, it does recreate one of the most violent events in human history. Some of the characters in the game are shown, in portraits, to be smoking pipes and cigars, similar to how the same figures were portrayed in pictures from that time. Hearts of Iron IV is an extremely complex game, with a large number of statistics to follow and menus/submenus to navigate. It's a complicated experience players must learn about through trial and error.
Is It Any Good?
There are lots of words that can be used to describe the events of the Second World War, but "easy" will never be one of them. War is difficult. War is complicated. War is a series of tough choices strung together and overlapping each other, with consequences that reverberate long after decisions are made. The developers of Hearts of Iron IV understand this and have put together one of the most detailed and complex World War II strategy games available. On the one hand, this makes for an intensely involved experience where even the smallest change can have a global impact. On the other hand, it also makes for an overwhelming experience to all but the most dedicated fan of the genre.
With its sparse graphics, dense menus, and heavy focus on statistics and deep strategy, Hearts of Iron IV caters to a very specific audience, and it's not exactly kind to newcomers. While the game does technically feature a tutorial for new players, it's pretty much useless for teaching you how to play. Instead, you'll be learning the basics through trial and error -- a LOT of trial and error. And considering some decisions you make early on might not have a noticeable impact until much later, you may not realize you're in an unrecoverable position until you've wasted more hours of effort. Eventually, you'll start to get a better understanding of the mechanics of the game and how to progress through the war with some effectiveness, but it's a grueling and time-consuming chore that's likely to frustrate all but the most hard-core wartime strategy fans.
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.