The Time Tribe

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
The Time Tribe Game Poster Image
Slow-paced adventure introduces players to history.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about different cultures from around the world at various points in time over a span of centuries. They are also exposed to some unsettling topics, like poverty and hunger, but the takeaway is not to feel sorry for other cultures, but rather to come away empowered with the knowledge that change is possible, and it is possible for anyone to make a difference. The Time Tribe teaches kids about history and world issues by placing the learning inside a time-traveling adventure.

Positive Messages

The Time Tribe champions the message that anyone can do great things. This comes across not only in the underlying story of the heroic young children who travel through time and unravel mysteries on their own, but also within the educational content that encompasses the entire game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite their young age, all members of the formidable "Time Tribe" are great role models, exemplifying intelligence, friendship, courtesy, respect, and a healthy spirit of wonder throughout the course of the game.

Ease of Play

Players will need to bring their sharp minds and cognitive thinking skills into this game, as there are numerous puzzles and mysteries to solve. The game does provide adequate clues and assistance to help players on their journey. After all is said and done, this game is really about providing players with an insightful and enjoyable journey -- the satisfaction comes from learning about history, not about solving overly complex puzzles and problems.

Violence & Scariness

There are some unsettling themes in the game, related to real-world problems in the current and in the past. Nothing is presented as gratuitously violent, however.


While The Time Tribe is free to play, users get the deepest experience by purchasing content in the game with real money, and/or by subscribing to the "premium" version of the game, which unlocks more features.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Time Tribe is a point-and-click adventure game in which players follow the story of four young children who take on the very grown-up quest of figuring out what has happened to missing members of a secret group called the Time Tribe. Along the way, players will need to explore various locations throughout history, solve puzzles, and put together all the pieces of the story in order to reach the end. The game is loaded with factual historical content, along with positive messages and insights that players can take with them into the real world.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byCoopermac May 14, 2013

Fun game you can learn something from too

I love this game. It’s got loads of cool info about history and civilizations, but kind of built in so you don't have to read a lot of facts or do quizzes... Continue reading

What's it about?

THE TIME TRIBE is a game about time travel that in and of itself is a bit of a throwback to a time gone by, with a point-and-click interface and game mechanic that feels like a classic video game from the 1980s. The story follows four young children who are part of an exclusive group called the \"Time Tribe.\" They must embark on a quest to find out what has happened to the other members of the secret group, and, along the way, find out about important events and figures in history. Players solve puzzles and talk to characters to get key information; and in the process, take in as much historical information as possible in order to make it to the end of the story.

Is it any good?

The Time Tribe packs in a lot of important historical information, and does a great job of making players think, evaluate themselves, and recognize that the world was not always the same as it is now and, in some parts of the planet, there are still problems. It does this all in the context of an enjoyable video game experience, but due to the sheer amount of content, exploration, and reading material that players must sift through in order to advance the story, it can become slow-paced and even a bit tedious at times.

That is always the trade-off with games that attempt to present strong messages or educational content, and it is the rare exception when any game can pull it off seamlessly. The Time Tribe does not do a perfect job of melding pure fun with insightful and important content, but it still does a pretty good job.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Internet privacy. Why is it important to only become in-game friends with friends that you know in real life?

  • What are the privileges you have that people in other parts of the world don't? How would you feel if you didn't have those privileges?

Game details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Subjects: Social Studies: cultural understanding, exploration, history
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, asking questions, investigation
    Emotional Development: empathy, moving beyond obstacles, self-awareness
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Available online? Available online
  • Release date: February 18, 2013
  • Genre: Adventure
  • ESRB rating: NR
  • Last updated: May 9, 2021

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history and civics

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