Massive Chalice

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Massive Chalice Game Poster Image
Epic game of tactics that spans (and spawns) generations.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about planning and critical thinking in this turn-based strategy game. Two core elements of the gameplay provide distinct learning opportunities. On the tactical side, kids can learn about developing situational awareness, using their unique abilities, their surroundings, and their fellow teammates to overcome obstacles. In the strategy element, kids can learn to research and understand the personalities and traits of others, as well as how those may affect performance on tasks. Kids also can learn about how decisions made today can have a major impact on events in the future. Massive Chalice teaches kids the importance of strategy and planning ahead, both important skills that can be applied to other facets of life.

Positive Messages

Promotes the idea that actions can have long-lasting consequences, as well as the importance of raising a family, leaving a legacy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters develop based on player choices over generations, leading to wide variety of personality traits, both positive and negative.

Ease of Play

Not for the faint of heart, Massive Chalice is a complex game of strategy and choices. Some poor choices early on may not factor in until much later.

Violence

Core gameplay centers on strategic combat. Players use bombs, bows and arrows, and battering rams to fight enemies. Moderate level of blood in combat, but nothing overly gory or brutal.

Sex

No overt sexuality; players do create relationships between characters for the purpose of having children to carry on bloodline.

Language

Light profanity, such as "hell," occasionally pops up in character dialogue.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some characters (particularly those with "Reveler" trait) presented as drunk and/or hungover, affecting performance in battle.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Massive Chalice is a downloadable turn-based strategy game where players build up and defend their lands over 300 years. Characters will permanently die off, either as a result of battle or simply living out their natural life spans. Players will counter this by marrying off heroes to produce offspring and build a legacy. Though combat is core to the game (with swords, bombs, arrows, and battering rams used in battle), the violence isn't particularly graphic or gory. Light profanity occasionally pops up in dialogue, and some characters are shown to be either drunk or hungover, but apart from that there's no objectionable content.

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What's it about?

In MASSIVE CHALICE, you play an immortal ruler of a burgeoning nation, battling for your land's survival against a mysterious enemy called the Cadence. Over the course of a 300-year war, you'll recruit heroes to join your army and send them to fight against the enemy. As time passes, you'll build and expand your nation's prominence. As your heroes age and gain experience, you'll bring some couples together to further their bloodlines and bring the battle to a new generation of heroes. The decisions you make and the legacy your heroes leave behind will shape the face of the war over the course of centuries.

Is it any good?

Massive Chalice turns the turn-based strategy formula on its head by drawing the actions out over the course of hundreds of years. Your heroes will live out their entire lives in the blink of an eye. Some will die on the battlefield, while others will simply succumb to the passage of time. It's the bloodlines of these heroes, though, and the game's handling of their legacies that bring a fresh change. By pairing up heroes with strong qualities, the hope is that their children and their children's children will inherit those traits to help in future battles. Even the weapons of heroes can be passed down throughout the ages, gaining a strength of their own as bloodline relics.

Massive Chalice is a gorgeous piece of art, with visuals that have an almost watercolor feel and an epic orchestral score. Gameplay can be deceptively overwhelming, though. At first, with only three main classes to differentiate your heroes' roles, things might seem fairly basic. But when you factor in the micromanagement of things such as traits and personalities, you'll soon realize there's a lot more to each hero than his or her class. Much like in real life, a trait might skip a generation, meaning you might be deep into the campaign before you realize a choice you made a few generations back has come back to haunt you. It can be a frustrating realization, but thankfully Massive Chalice has enough depth to keep you coming back for more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in video games. Is the violence in Massive Chalice OK because it's similar to chess, or does the nature of warfare make the combat seem more realistic?

  • Talk about legacies. How can the actions taken by a generation today affect the lives of future generations down the road?

  • What are some ways that our individual traits and personalities can affect our performance?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love strategy

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