A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about American history, particularly the pre-Civil War era of slavery, and what society was like for an African-American girl in the 1800s. They'll discover how the choices you make shape your future and that sometimes there may be a situation without a right answer. They also can see that historical issues often have many points of view. Kids can learn some key vocabulary words and practice their ability to both ask questions and absorb what they're reading. This isn't the most traditional game experience, but it's a great supplementary tool for classroom lessons. Mission US: Flight to Freedom's first-person point-of-view simulation can help history come alive in new ways.
Depicts slavery with realistic negativity. A number of characters risk their lives to help Lucy. On the other hand, kids earn badges for disobeying Lucy's master, destroying his property, and neglecting her duties. Some kids may not understand that Lucy's disobedience is a form of protest.
Positive Role Models
Both positive and negative role models throughout the story. There are those who help Lucy and those who try to hurt her. Lucy is strong-willed, headstrong, and persistent, but player choices further determine her character.
Ease of Play
Easy to maneuver and understand, with a few quirks. Mostly multiple-choice decisions, with some panning around a scene. Not always clear what you're supposed to do, but you can figure it out.
Violence & Scariness
No on-screen violence but an undercurrent of violence/impending violence throughout. At one moment, a slave is badly whipped. During another, a man pulls a gun on Lucy and her ally. Kids can have Lucy promise to learn to shoot a gun.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A little flirting.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Historically accurate use of words such as "Negro."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mission US: Flight to Freedom is an age-appropriate but realistic simulation of life for Lucy, an African-American teenage girl living in the pre-Civil War period, as she attempts to flee from slavery to freedom. This gamified learning experience is intended to be used as part of an integrated curriculum on slavery (resources are provided on the publisher's website), not necessarily as a stand-alone experience. Kids who play will get a sense of what it's like to be ordered around by a master, leave family behind to run for freedom, and have to make difficult decisions. Some choices will result in Lucy being captured, and the simulation will end. Given the subject matter, kids might find the experience to be emotionally intense; families are torn apart, people are treated poorly, and characters are unfairly imprisoned. The use of words such as "Negro" could feel offensive to some, although they're authentic to the time period. Most decisions have no right or wrong answer, which may be a new experience for kids. There are repercussions for each decision and, much like in real life, you can't always know which will end poorly. Some choices result in "badges," which aren't rewards so much as representations of personality traits within the experience. Players may receive a badge for being rebellious, but they also can earn one for following all the rules. One badge is earned by saying a prayer in a difficult moment. As in life, you can't develop all the personality traits, as some conflict with others. As the game progresses, these personality traits come into play and help shape Lucy's life.
Is It Any Good?
Mission US: Flight to Freedom is a powerful and compelling simulation about one girl's attempt to flee slavery and reach freedom. It requires kids to make some difficult decisions in a gaming world where there are no right or wrong answers. Unlike in some simulations, the choices aren't obvious, and what seems like a reasonable decision could have very negative consequences. The result is an ongoing sense of peril, especially for kids who are able to relate in some way to the lead character. Because no simulation can or should adequately convey the full depth of slavery or the escape to freedom, this shouldn't serve as a stand-alone experience. But when it's paired with a strong curriculum unit -- or discussions and research as a family -- Flight to Freedom has the ability to humanize the people of the time and can serve as a springboard for further learning and conversation.
The experience can go even deeper as you replay with different choices. Since your decisions result in different "badges," or personality traits, they can subtly or radically change Lucy's fate. Kids can experience how each choice they make can impact Lucy's life, a lesson that's valuable even beyond the constraints of the activity. Although "fun" isn't the right word to describe the simulation, it's certainly engaging in a way that typical history lessons aren't. This means that kids will connect more deeply with the subject matter and gain a greater understanding of the challenges of the time. Mission US: Flight to Freedom also offers a complete set of teacher materials, including activities, historical context, vocabulary, and primary sources, which make it useful for school and after-school programs as well.
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.