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: Gods & Kings is an expansion pack to Sid Meier's Civilization V and that a copy of the original game is required in order to play this one. It is a deep, turn-based game of civilization simulation and tactics that, in some ways, also acts as a basic but broad-spanning history lesson concerning the people, events, movements, technologies, and personalities that have shaped our world. There is violence, but its depiction is from far away, and brief references to sexuality and drugs are made only within historical context. Parents should be aware that this game offers a multiplayer mode capable of facilitating communication between strangers.
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What's it about?
As the first major expansion to Sid Meier's Civilization V, SID MEIER'S CIVILIZATION V: GODS & KINGS fundamentally changes the original game by adding a powerful new ingredient: Religion. Players still begin by selecting an historical world leader -- nine new personalities have been added to the original cast, including the Netherlands' William I and Ethiopia's Haile Selassie -- before attempting to rule the world in a variety of ways, from military might to scientific achievement. However, now they must contend with -- or spur on -- the rise of nearly a dozen different real-world religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism, Shinto, Tengrism, Confucianism, and Zoroastrianism. While details of these religions are provided in the "Civilopedia," differences in dogma don’t have much of an effect on the game itself. Each faith is capable of offering similar benefits -- bonuses to culture, happiness, gold collection -- that can give a civilization the edge it needs to grow more quickly than its rivals. This expansion also includes several new scenarios, such as one that leads players through the fall of the Roman Empire and another with a Victorian steampunk theme.
Is it any good?
Fans of Civilization V are all but guaranteed to enjoy the new features that Gods & Kings adds to the experience. Religious elements haven't just been tacked on; they've been integrated into existing features so that the accumulation of the new "faith" commodity is felt almost everywhere, from researching new technologies to diplomatic relations with "Holy" city states. The game may not exploit specific dogma within each religion (a prudent decision), but it successfully simulates the effect that popular faiths can have on a culture and the world at large.
And religion is just the start. The addition of new civilizations, "world wonders," and unit types, as well as three original scenarios and a few key rules tweaks all help make the game feel fresh again, even for those who've already spent hundreds of hours with it. Its $30 tag is pricey for an expansion pack, but this is a case of getting what you pay for.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about history. What historical figures and eras interest you most? Do you enjoy learning about history? Do you prefer learning about it through a game like this, or do you want to learn in greater detail and with additional analysis?
Families can also discuss religion. Did this game introduce you to any religions with which you were previously unfamiliar? Do you feel as though you now have a better understanding of the role religion has played in shaping world history?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Subjects: Math: addition, counting, estimation, subtraction
Social Studies: cultural understanding, historical figures, history, power structures
Science: engineering, energy, rocks and minerals
Language & Reading: following directions, reading, reading comprehension
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, set objectives
Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, decision-making, prediction, strategy
Creativity: developing novel solutions, imagination
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
Responsibility & Ethics: learning from consequences
- Price: $29.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: 2K Games
- Release date: June 19, 2012
- Genre: Strategy
- Topics: History, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Drug Reference, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
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