A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that villagers can die; when they do, their skeletons litter the ground. Eventually your villagers will learn to bury their dead in a graveyard. Parents of young children should also be aware of the game's mating aspect. Sometimes villagers kiss and then go inside a hut. When they emerge, a baby may appear in the woman's arms. You can also drop one villager on another to see if they like each other. If they do, they kiss and go inside a hut. It's rare, but possible, for three people to go inside a hut together.
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What's it about?
VIRTUAL VILLAGERS: A NEW HOME starts with a small tribe of seven people arriving on the island of Isola as the only survivors of a volcanic eruption. Your role is to manage these survivors as they evolve into a thriving village of 90 people. The villagers will need to find food and housing, develop technologies, fight disease, and mate. Players direct each villager to develop a specific skill, work with others to survive, and eventually explore the island to discover its 16 mysteries.
Is it any good?
What makes the streamlined simulation Virtual Villagers unique is that it runs in real time: Even when you quit playing for the day, your villagers keep living unless you choose to "pause" the game. This isn't a game that you play all at once. Instead, you fiddle with it for about 10 minutes at a time, then let the villagers get on with their lives until the next time you want to peek in. Managing this virtual world isn't difficult; it just takes patience.
By playing Virtual Villagers, kids will think about life in terms of what's necessary to survive. They'll learn that people need shelter, food, healing, and the ability to reproduce. And to better their lot, they need to be creative and scientific. It's a perspective that many young people may not have thought about before playing this game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what's important for a society to survive. The simulation forces players to prioritize how they spend their tech points on research. Is farming more important than building? How about spirituality over healing? This is fertile ground for discussions about what's important in life.
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