Parents' Guide to

Law Craft

By Marc Lesser, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Legislative sim in the iCivics series lacks engagement.

Game Mac , Windows 2010
Law Craft Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Law Craft- real feel how and why a law happens.

I have used Law Craft with my 5th Grade class as part of our unit on Forming a New Government. The game play not only allows students to be in control and make many decision that are currently relevant, but it puts into practice many underlying issues that are part of law making. Values and how they motivate group decision making in Congress are well represented along with the way they sort into he 2 current major parties. The game play offers hands on experience that is rare in history and government learning. I do recommend talking about the process of a law before hand and a follow up discussion afterwards to give depth to their learn experience.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Contrary to its purpose, Law Craft is about as dull as people think the legislative process really is. For iCivics -- producer of other quality, free sims such as Argument Wars -- it's a weak link. If the purpose of the game is to breathe life into the nuance and complexity of lawmaking, a ripe context for building a strategy game, then its major flaw is in under-designing the mechanics. Compared with dynamic, information-rich game grids and dashboards with which players have lots of consequential choices, such as in other serious sims like Stop Disasters, this one feels more like a dressed-up matching game or quiz, where the only real riddle is solved by checking and unchecking boxes until a bill has enough support to pass. As it is, the game illustrates that most bills are a popularity contest (not in a good way) and that lawmakers can skip the care and attention necessary for creating powerful legislation and move right on to pandering to constituents and colleagues.

Game Details

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.

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

See how we rate