By Jesse Nau,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Historical strategy game is complicated and clever.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Promotes an interest in history, and shows the different ways that civilization has grown over the years.
Positive Role Models
The leaders of the factions can potentially be positive role models. They come from multiple ethnicities and genders, and are industrious, ambitious and often promote cultural works and scientific advancement. They were often also brutal dictators, which you can encourage depending on your actions in-game, so their positive impressions have limits.
The leaders of the various civilizations come from different ethnicities, and the game does a good job including historically important female characters as playable characters.
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Ease of Play
The game is incredibly complex, with many moving parts and resources to manage. This is made more manageable by a thorough tutorial, but it's overwhelming even compared to other strategy games.
Violence & Scariness
The game features a lot of abstract violence, but what's shown on screen is very basic and cartoonish. As a ruler you can promote violence and aggressive military actions, and the game makes it hard to avoid violent encounters. Visually these actions only looks like tiny characters pretending to hit each other without blood or gore shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
While producing heirs is an important gameplay feature, sexual acts aren't shown or talked about.
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Products & Purchases
In addition to the base game, the developers have released a downloadable expansion pack called Heroes of the Aegean.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
While images of potentially alcoholic beverages feature in some event screens, drinking isn't talked about or shown on screen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Old World is a historical strategy game available for download on Macs and Windows PCs. The game focuses on civilizations from the ancient past, and players take on the role of leading these nations from generation to generation as they explore, expand and develop their chosen nation. The game mechanics are deep and complicated, so new players may get overwhelmed managing the large number of resources and relationships needed to properly grow one's empire. While alcohol, as well as a ruler having heirs to pass their kingdom to are discussed within the game, neither situation is shown during play. While players will often engage in military actions and violence to accomplish their goals of conquering lands, no blood or gore is shown during play.
Where to Play
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What’s It About?
In OLD WORLD, players act as the leader of a real-life ancient civilization, leading them from small settlements into sprawling civilizations. Players will take control of the leader of a dynasty of the ancient world, from the Romans and Greeks to the Hittites and Assyrians, and guide them from generation to generation. Players will build and expand cities, develop new technology and religions, raise up armies, and grow their kingdoms. In addition to commanding the kingdom, players will need to manage relationships with different advisors, family members, and other important nobles. Players can start a fresh game with a randomized map, or participate in one of many scenarios based on the real histories of these civilizations.
Is It Any Good?
Incredible depth in an underutilized setting makes this strategy game stand out from the crowd. Old World is a turn-based strategy game that combines the lineage and relationship elements of grand strategy games like Crusader Kings with the goal-oriented structure of Civilization. Each game has you control the leader of an ancient civilization and manage the affairs of the kingdom over time, completing personal goals and expanding your territory. As time progresses, you'll manage relationships with members of your court, pass the torch of leadership to the next generation, research technologies, expand and upgrade your territory, and interact with the leaders of other kingdoms. In order to do this, you'll gather and manage many different resources, which you can spend on upgrades, actions, and creating units and buildings. Victory's achieved once you've either conquered the opposing nations or fulfilled enough personal leadership goals, which are chosen periodically throughout the game.
Compared to Civilization, Old World provides a more intimate experience. Since you don't take your initial settlement all the way to the present day, and instead keep to a smaller timeline, you'll get familiar with your vassals and more in tune with the technology and advancements of the ancient world and the people that lived in it. The implementation of the Orders system is another solid addition. Each turn, you have a supply of order points that control how many actions you can take. You can choose to make some units take a majority of the orders of the turn, or have them all take one step each, but you'll need to be smart in choosing how to manipulate your forces. The entire game has a lot of choices to make, and managing them all can be overwhelming even for players familiar with the genre. You're always managing physical resources like lumber and money, intellectual resources like research and military commands, and personal relationship resources like favor and wisdom. There's an in-depth tutorial that walks you through all of the mechanics, but expect to take a long time to grasp the many mechanics at play. If you are willing to put in that time, Old World is an excellent strategy game with a lot of depth to explore.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the role of war in video games. Is it acceptable to show or participate in military actions within Old World? Does it make it better or worse if these wars really happened? Does the cartoonish nature of the violence make it more acceptable?
How do you feel about showing real historical events in Old World? Does it make you more interested in learning about the past? What events or people in the game are you the most curious about?
- Platforms: Windows, Mac
- Pricing structure: Paid ($39.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Hooded Horse
- Release date: May 19, 2022
- Genre: Strategy
- Topics: History, Horses and Farm Animals, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: June 5, 2022
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.
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