Star Wars: Empire at War Game Poster Image

Star Wars: Empire at War



Good but imperfect Star Wars RTS.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids can play as the ruthless Empire, or as rebel forces, which generally work for the good of the galaxy.


Space and ground battles. Plenty of explosions, but no gore or blood.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Part of the Star Wars franchise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a safe and fun game for teens and possibly even mature tweens. There are plenty of explosions and frequent battle scenes, but players will not encounter any blood or gore. The game is online enabled, and while the online portion doesn't contain any different content, there isn't any control over the language or actions of other players. Common Sense does not recommend online play for anyone younger than 12.

What's it about?

In STAR WARS: EMPIRES AT WAR, players take command of either the galactic Empire or rebel forces and attempt to gain control of the entire galaxy. Set roughly around the time of Star Wars: Episode IV, the rebellion is just starting to form and is looking for a way to steal the plans of a rumored super-weapon (the Death Star). Meanwhile, the Empire hopes to continue to expand its grip on the galaxy.

Since the space and land battles are handled separately, players need to build both space and ground forces, including a wide variety of vehicles and spaceships. It can get complicated managing the vast array of forces at hand; however, to make things simpler, players don't need to be concerned with the gathering of resources, which is a major break from most real-time strategy games.

Is it any good?


Unfortunately, the battle sequences are fairly linear. Players may be frustrated by the land maps, which typically only have a few approaches to enemy forces and offer limited areas to bring in reinforcements. In the campaign mode, this often leads to a situation in which the side that starts with the biggest army wins, reducing strategic options during battle. Battles in space tend to be more satisfying, replicating the laser-fire, explosions, and excitement of the movies.

Clear differences exist between the Empire and the rebellion, with the Empire being markedly more sinister. For example, during the tutorial, one character of the Empire says, "We will bomb the rebels, and when they come out with their hands up, we will bomb them again." While the Empire is able to take over any planet it desires, the rebellion is limited to freeing planets from Empire or space pirate control. To make up for that limitation, the rebellion is able to steal weapon designs from the Empire using spies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this game fits in with the movies, books, and other games about Star Wars. Do you like how the game allows you to, in essence, change the storyline of the fourth movie, or do you feel it makes it less appealing? Does playing out the action in a game give you more freedom to imagine your own stories? How?

Game details

Available online?Available online
Release date:February 16, 2006
Genre:Real Time Strategy (RTS)
ESRB rating:T for Fantasy Violence

This review of Star Wars: Empire at War was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Fun and even educational, but time-intensive.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byOmfgigorawr June 6, 2010

Star wars: Empire at war is a looong but worthwhile game.

Star wars: empire at war is a much different game than usual, as it's a RTS(real time strategy) this time around. It requires a good amount of planning and strategy for battles. The violence is low, as in no blood or gore. Language is well, there is no bad language from what i know. The game itself can be very long, especially if you do galactic conquest. I had a galactic conquest game last a week before i was able to win. The space battles are intense and you can turn on a cinematic mode which jumps randomly following ships and giving it a movie like feel. The land battles however are for the most part ridiculously hard. The good part is, you can have the battle auto resolve, which fights the battle instantly and depending on some other variables let's you win or lose, but using the auto resolve will cause more casualties for your forces than if you fought it yourself. At first the game will be really complicated, but it teaches you all the things you need to know in a good way. I'd recommend the game for anyone who likes strategy type games and who like a long game also.
What other families should know
Educational value
Adult Written byzelda dude April 9, 2008


great game but land battles are cheap but you can ajust the graphics so..
Adult Written April 9, 2008

Good Star Wars Fun

I'm glad this game was set in Galactic Civil war the better era of the two but beyond hat the game is ok, I like the campaign and the conquest mode but the skirmish sucks.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?