Virtual Villagers: A New Home



A simple simulation that teaches life lessons.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The simulation reinforces how important it is to work together. But women with babies are automatically taken out of the work force for two years, and, unfortunately, shown doing nothing when caring for children.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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.

Game details

Available online?Not available online
Developer:Last Day of Work
Release date:September 22, 2006
ESRB rating:NR

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 5 and 10 year old Written byDariseMcL February 4, 2010
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byteejay April 9, 2008

Great fun!

This is a great game, it not only simulates society and life, but it teaches kids patience as unlike most games, things don't happen instantaneously. Such as the pregnancy stage. Find me a child who thinks waiting 5-8 hours a short time to wait :). To them I guess it would seem like months, ages - you get my point. Also, there are various careers, and it is not limited to gender, either males or females can be builders, scientists or foragers. Great fun and also very practical as the probabilities of offspring being male or female is pretty random. I enjoy the fact that right from the very beginning of the game, you are given a very enjoyable scenario. With ages ranging from toddlers to elders showing that everyone can work together. Also, it addresses the issue of death and child birth, but only lightly, the dead can be buried in the burial ground (no corpses or blood shown)- just a cartoon skeleton, and the childbirth happening when the female emerges from hut with 'the bundle of joy' :P. Overall, it was a very enjoyable game which I played only for an hour (as I downloaded the trial version).
Kid, 10 years old September 28, 2009

Love this

I downloaded this game from Big Fish and I loved it!!!! I'm really good at it and it's fun, too! Problem was, my people kept dying and leaving their skeletons lying around
What other families should know
Educational value


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