A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
An oppressed resistance bravely fights for their freedom, but the game is still very much a conflict-focused war experience.
Positive Role Models
Two of the game's hero characters are strong female protagonists. A focus on family bonds, as well as beliefs in fighting for those that can't defend themselves.
Ease of Play
Typical of real-time strategy games, the controls, systems, and mechanics can be complex. That said, a thorough, intuitive tutorial does a better job than similar games' help in getting players up to speed. Those familiar with strategy games will have little trouble with the learning curve.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of explosions, gunfire, soldiers dying on the battlefield. Characters die in pools of blood, but they're small and disappear after a short time. Blood and gore effects can be turned off in the options menu (although effects will still be present during cutscenes).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In dialogue, some sexist comments from male characters who are surprised by the female protagonists' ability to fight.
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"Ass," "balls," "bastard," and "bitch" used in dialogue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Iron Harvest 1920+ is a real-time strategy (RTS) game available for download on Windows-based PCs. It's very much a conflict-driven war game featuring frequent explosions and gunfire, but gore is typically limited to pools of blood gathered under recently deceased soldiers. The effect is small, disappears after a short time, and can be turned off in the settings. While the latter option removes the effect from gameplay, it's still visible during the cinematic cutscenes, where violence -- including the depiction of a character's severed limb -- can be a bit more graphic. Players can also command animals to attack, which triggers a mauling animation. Profanity, including "bitch" and "bastard," is occasionally used by characters. The game includes positive representations of female soldiers, who fight for their family and fellow citizens who can't defend themselves. These playable heroes are occasionally met with subtly sexist remarks from male characters who are surprised by their abilities on the battlefield. Iron Harvest 1920+ features a lengthy, intuitive tutorial to help ease players into its controls and many gameplay features. That said, complete newcomers to the genre may face some challenges in tackling the learning curve, which can be steep. The game features three separate but connected campaigns, as well as multiple non-story modes, including cooperative and competitive online options.
Is It Any Good?
This real-time strategy game's world beautifully blends WWI-era environments -- from lush, rural farmlands to stunning, snow-covered forests -- with explosive, mech-driven warfare. The attention to detail that's gone into building the Iron Harvest world is equally present in its story and characters. Each faction's playable hero has depth typically reserved for heroes of action/adventure games, while the plot is more than just a backdrop to battles. Much of this is due to the plentiful use of in-game dialogue -- despite the voice acting's subpar quality -- as well as numerous, well-produced cutscenes. But the game's action doesn't suffer: It does more than a serviceable job putting you in command of your tactical forces by favoring thoughtful tactical approaches over fast-paced action.
Iron Harvest's resource-gathering and base-building elements are fairly streamlined, which works well with its more measured pacing. Of course, the game mixes things up a bit with its mechs, which come in various battlefield-scarring shapes and sizes, and commanding these menaces is always a blast. The hero characters' companion animals, which include a bear, a tiger, and a pair of wolves, also add a nice strategic layer -- and some extra personality. Summoning your beast to heal you, after they've just feasted on your foes, never gets old. Iron Harvest also earns points for its excellent tutorial, as it takes time to bring newcomers up to speed without alienating seasoned strategists. An optional, easy difficulty mode is offered for those more interested in the story than the gameplay, while an impressive slate of noncampaign and online modes invite serious strategists to focus on combat. Despite its mech warfare, Iron Harvest's gameplay doesn't do much to evolve the genre, but its story, setting, and characters are so good, even casual fans might want to experience its thoughtfully crafted world. Iron Harvest 1920+ is worth heading to the front lines for.
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.