A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World is an expansion to Firaxis' popular turn-based strategy game and that it requires the original Sid Meier's Civilization V to work. Like the base game, it includes mild military combat in which tiny soldiers can be seen fighting from a bird's-eye view. There is no blood or gore. Plus, battles can be almost completely avoided. Most players will spend their time experimenting with different types of government, learning the nuts and bolts of international trade, conducting diplomatic negotiations, managing agriculture and food production, and carrying out other business involved with ruling and evolving civilizations. It can be surprisingly edifying, especially if players take time to peruse the Civilopedia, which contains informative entries describing human achievements ranging from animal husbandry to oil production.
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What's it about?
The second expansion for one of the most acclaimed strategy games ever made, SID MEIER'S CIVILIZATION V: BRAVE NEW WORLD packs plenty of new content meant to breathe new life into the core game. It adds nine new civilizations and leaders, including Shaka of the Zulus and Maria I of Portugal; eight new world wonders ranging from the Parthenon to Broadway; and dozens of new units and structures. It also introduces a pair of fresh scenarios that will see players recreating the American Civil War and working to colonize Africa. But the biggest changes come in the addition of several new systems. A World Congress allows civilizations to vote on important global matters such as pollution and trade sanctions. A trade system provides a new way to generate income and move goods around your empire. Powerful new polices and ideologies unlocked in the Industrial Age can alter strategies later in the game. And, perhaps most importantly, a new type of Culture Victory tempts players to focus on generating tourism and influence via great works made by famous writers, artists, and musicians.
Is it any good?
If you've been looking for an excuse to invest a few more hours in Sid Meier's strategy masterpiece, Brave New World is it. The game feels much the same at the start, even with the new civilizations, but things begin to change with the passage of turns. You'll develop and manage trade routes, which add an important new dimension to your civilization's economic growth. And the path to the new Culture Victory requires you to learn how to take advantage of new elements such as archaeological finds and how best to display your civilization's great works of art. Then, as you approach the game's end, your choice of ideology will impact diplomatic relations with other nations in important ways, resulting in game-changing allies and enemies.
It isn't quite the delight that would be a brand new numbered entry in this enduring series, but it's not far off. Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World is $30 well spent.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the evolution of human civilization. Did the game help you to understand how early technologies acted as foundational building blocks for those that came later? Do you think our civilization is generally improving over time?
Can you learn from a game like this? Did you come away feeling like you knew more about famous historical leaders, ideologies, and government policies?
- Platforms: Windows
- Subjects: Social Studies: government, historical figures, power structures, the economy
- Skills: Self-Direction: achieving goals, goal-setting
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, strategy
- Price: $29.99
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: 2K Games
- Release date: July 5, 2013
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Science and nature
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Drug Reference, Mild Language, Mild Violence
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