Mission US: For Crown or Colony?
By Christy Matte,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
First-person history adventure asks kids to choose sides.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about U.S. history during the pre-Revolutionary War era as they assume the role of a young man who has just signed on for a printing apprenticeship in Boston. As a character caught up in the rapidly changing political landscape, kids interact with historical characters and hear different points of view. They need to pay close attention to what they're told in order to make appropriate decisions. Historical immersion makes for a clever and authentic way to explore the different sides of the Revolutionary War.
The game allows kids to choose their own opinion on the events of the times and act accordingly. There is a slight positive emphasis on the US perspective of what happened.
Positive Role Models
On each side of the political spectrum there are people who show positive modern-day values, as well as those that show negative ones. Most of the characters closest to the main character are kind and patient.
Ease of Play
The game begins with a clear tutorial and the game controls are simple.
Violence & Scariness
While none of the violence is explicit on screen, the game portrays the Boston Massacre and mentions the deaths of a number of colonists. There are also muskets and bayonets.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kids can choose to partake in some mild flirtation between their character and one of the other main characters.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mission US: For Crown or Colony? is a choose-your-own-adventure style game where kids explore the political situation in Boston in 1770. During the game, kids make choices about where to go, who to talk to, and what to say and do. There is some difficult subject matter including slavery, indentured servants, riots, political unrest, and death. In the end, kids are asked to take a stance. They can join the fight, stay neutral, or side with the British.
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Mission US: For Crown or Colony?
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What’s It About?
Mission US: For Crown or Colony? follows the life of Nat Wheeler as he leaves his family farm and journeys to Boston to be a printer's apprentice. It's there he learns about the Patriots' rebellion against British tyranny. He also meets Lucy, a girl who's loyal to the crown. Kids learn history and can explore both sides of the situation, although a sympathetic emphasis falls on the side of the colonists. As the game progresses, kids can choose whether to support the colonists or the redcoats, or to stay neutral. In the end, they have a final choice to make that will decide Nat's fate.
Is It Any Good?
Mission US: For Crown or Colony? is a wonderful way for kids to explore the historical facts that brought about the Revolutionary War. The first-person perspective makes the story more compelling, although it may be difficult for kids to make an impartial decision since the characters on the side of the Patriots seem more sympathetic overall. Also, unlike Mission US: Flight to Freedom, your choices during the game don't seem to have any real impact on the end result. Still, kids have the chance to meet Paul Revere, chat with Phillis Wheatley, and have a front row seat to the moments just before the Boston Massacre. It's hard to forget experiences like that. If all history classes were like this, history class would be the favorite of all students.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the American Revolution, how and why it came about, and what you might do if presented with a similar situation today.
What would be like to be an apprentice? How is that different from being an indentured servant?
Do you think playing history games gives you a better sense of what really happened?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Subjects: Social Studies: events, government, historical figures, Language & Reading: reading comprehension, using supporting evidence, vocabulary
- Skills: Communication: asking questions, conveying messages effectively, listening, Thinking & Reasoning: asking questions, decision-making, thinking critically, Responsibility & Ethics: integrity, learning from consequences, making wise decisions
- Pricing structure: Free
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Thirteen/WNET
- Release date: April 1, 2011
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Friendship, History
- ESRB rating: NR
- Last updated: November 1, 2019
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