Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Game Poster Image
Amazing world simulation can teach players about history.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Players can learn about history, strategy in habit-forming simulation of human civilization. In-game text, remarkably comprehensive encyclopedia teach players about how historic leaders, forms of government, technologies, economics, entertainment, religion come together to create culture. To win, players must decide which victory condition they want -- culture, military domination, religion, science, score -- create short, long-term strategies to meet specific goals. Kids bound to come away with improved understanding of history, how our world works.

Positive Messages

Encourages interest in history. Promotes optimistic outlook, suggests that societal progression comes in many forms, including science, religion, economics, culture. Rewards thoughtful play, including long-term planning, short-term tactics.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Historical leaders range from pacifists like Ghandi to warmongers like Harald Hardrada, who invaded England, had a background as a mercenary. Regardless of which personality players choose, they can play game however they like, try to win through peaceful, violent means.

Ease of Play

Range of difficulties can make it so players of any skill level will be almost certain to win; even very best players likely to lose. Multiple intertwining game systems sophisticated, intimidating to start but prove surprisingly accessible, thanks to ample tutorials, plenty of optional guidance.


Combat viewed from raised perspective. Tiny soldiers in small groups (over whom player has no direct control) attack each other with swords, pikes, muskets, bazookas, other realistic historical weapons. Fallen combatants yell out in pain, collapse, disappear.


Text describing historical events situations contains words including "rape," "prostitute."


Infrequent profanity in text, including "hell," "bastard."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Opium referenced within context of historical events.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sid Meier's Civilization VI is a sophisticated strategy game that can help improve kids' knowledge and understanding of human history. Players lead the development of an empire over the course of thousands of years, doing things such as founding cities, guiding economic growth, and raising an army by researching new technologies and observing how one breakthrough naturally leads to the next. Violence occurs when two nations' armies meet in battle, but it's presented from a raised perspective; combatants appear like tiny toy soldiers, and the player has no direct control over combat. Depending on the player's strategy and ultimate objectives -- victory can be achieved not only through military dominance but also growth of culture, religion, and science -- it's possible to play and win without ever engaging in battle. Parents should also note that while this game may initially seem very complex, multiple difficulties and plenty of in-game guidance make it much more accessible than it first seems.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNebbie Zebbie June 7, 2019

Slowly became better than V

It started out a rather barren game compared to V, but the extra DLC and continued updates have made it the superior game; I expect when the third DLC comes out... Continue reading
Adult Written byBenny6Games December 14, 2018

Really fun history game!

Fun game that my family love to play together. A bit of violence, as one of the main features is conquering the natives but heh, that's what us Christian f... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byParrotMan May 19, 2018

Well made classic is hard to learn.

Although this is a great game and I would strongly recommend it to fans of Halo Wars or Clash of Clans, the game is hard to pick up. There are so many moving pa... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byEthanBeczkiewicz January 30, 2021

Great game, but too much DLC

I... I have nearly 1000 hours in this game. I love near everything about this game. but, it costs almost $150 to get the full experience. so close firaxis, so c... Continue reading

What's it about?

SID MEIER'S CIVILIZATION VI builds upon the solid foundation laid by its award-winning predecessors, delivering a familiar but distinctive world-history simulation. The game begins as all Civilization games do, with the selection of a historical leader and the founding of a single city, then progresses through 500 turns where players build more cities, research new technologies, found faiths, spy on their neighbors, and progress through various types of governments and policies, all on their way to achieving a victory through science, culture, religion, or military dominance. But the changes made to this edition will be immediately evident to longtime franchise fans. Cities now include districts, such as holy sites, military encampments, neighborhoods, and industrial zones, and each district takes up its own tile. Different types of units can be embedded in each other to create formations, providing new ways to protect civilian units. A new level of strategy has also been added to technologies and civics by something called "boosts," a means by which the time required to conduct research can be reduced by you performing certain actions. The result is a game that looks a lot like the Civilization of years past but plays quite differently.

Is it any good?

There are plenty of games that simulate worlds and empires, but Firaxis' 25-year-old strategy series remains at the head of the class. Sid Meier's Civilization VI improves upon the design of its predecessors by delivering a smoother, more authentic, and even more strategic simulation of world history. The revamped city-building system, for example, forces players to plan ahead when picking a spot to found a city to ensure that it will have access to all the necessary tiles required to grow the city in a desired direction. They'll also need to make strategic use of builder units, who must now be manually controlled and can only improve three tiles before disappearing, making each mine, farm, or pasture they're instructed to create a tactical choice. Just as important are the changes to the way players govern their empires. The means by which governments and policies are unlocked and selected allows for quick shifts in agenda to meet current challenges, and it permits players to easily change paths toward different types of victories as circumstances change. Picking the right policies for the right phases of your empire's growth can be the difference between winning and losing by only a handful of turns.

All this, and it looks absolutely gorgeous -- even played on a standard PC without cutting-edge hardware. Simulated hand-drawn maps imitate those of ancient explorers and cartographers, and the animations accompanying the building of new wonders are a joy to watch. British actor Sean Bean's powerful and dramatic narration is just gravy. There are no obstacles getting in the way of a boisterous recommendation for Sid Meier’s Civilization VI -- save that, once you start playing, it can be mighty hard to quit.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. Is there a difference in how we interpret violence when we see it presented within historical context as opposed to when it's created purely for entertainment? If so, why might that be?

  • Talk about history. Do you enjoy learning about history? Do you think we are constantly moving forward and making the world a better place? Has humanity ever taken actions that have reversed its progress?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strategy

Themes & Topics

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