Mission US: For Crown or Colony?

Common Sense Media says

First-person history adventure asks kids to choose sides.

Age(i)

2
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8
9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

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.

Sex

Kids can choose to partake in some mild flirtation between their character and one of the other main characters.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The game is online so you'll be facing the normal privacy and safety issues of any online activities. That said, the game itself doesn't have any privacy or safety concerns since you do not interact with others.

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • using supporting evidence
  • vocabulary

Social Studies

  • events
  • government
  • historical figures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively
  • listening

Responsibility & Ethics

  • integrity
  • learning from consequences
  • making wise decisions

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This is clearly an educational video game, and kids will see it as such -- but it is a fun way to learn about history, and they may want to play repeatedly to make different choices.

Learning Approach

The first-person aspect of this game drives the learning home by making the experiences feel personal.

Support

Supplemental resources are plentiful (including a Teachers Guide), and although there are no right or wrong answers, kids can revisit aspects of their game by keeping multiple saves.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • using supporting evidence
  • vocabulary

Social Studies

  • events
  • government
  • historical figures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively
  • listening

Responsibility & Ethics

  • integrity
  • learning from consequences
  • making wise decisions

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christy Matte

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

Game details

Platforms:Mac, Windows
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Thirteen/WNET
Release date:April 1, 2011
Genre:Educational
Topics:Friendship, History

This review of Mission US: For Crown or Colony? was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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