Parents' Guide to

WarCraft III/WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

By Jeremy Gieske, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Violent games are better suited to older audience.

Game Windows 2003
WarCraft III/WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 10+

Definitely less dubious than the offical review suggests

It's clear that the person doing the official review had some kind of issue with this game. There are many selfless acts of sacrifice and morally upstanding characters, and although the story follows the main character down a path where they turn evil- it is never presented as those things being good or okay. There are definitely some positive messages to be found. The violence is all very cartoony and not often graphic as a result, but "pervasively sinister and violent images" is pretty harsh, although this rating is probably the closest to accurate. I looked up Home Improvement, which is rated here as 7+ (it says sexy stuff is not present) and, having watched that show as an adult, there is so much more, and more explicitly referenced, sex references there, so I'm not sure what gives here. The game doesn't show or bring up anything weird- that line from a unit is an "easter egg" and very much cherry picked. Language could be better. I remember a mild curse or two - nothing obscene or gratuitous, though. Otherwise, "hidden in the gameplay" is a lot like saying, "Don't let your kids watch Disney because it has adult references!" Consumerism is indeed not present. I'm not sure how they missed this, but there is definitely a few drug/smoking/drinkin references, but almost exclusively in the "easter egg" voice lines you can hear by clicking on a unit a bunch of times. The one notable exception would be the "Drunken Master" hero in the Frozen Throne. Overall, you could do far, far, worse than this game for your kids. The one thing you need to be worried about is online multiplayer- where there used to be maps that had hidden pornographic images (created by other players) that you could view- and all online interaction is essentially unsafe for kids anyway, even when it's moderated- which it isn't in this game. This is not the "Reforged" edition of the game, though, so you cannot play online with it anymore. If you have access to this older game, it'd be great for your kids- it's fun, has an engaging story, and is far and away less dubious than the offical review makes it out to be.
age 13+

Don't criticize what you don't understand

The Warcraft universe is replete with epic tales of perseverence, sacrifice, loyalty, and countless other heroic qualities. To dismiss Warcraft III as having no "educational value" is to betray a startling, and rather depressing, ignorance of gaming. Fear not: 200 years ago, people had your same criticisms against novels. Blizzard will keep weaving amazing, interactive stories and people like the reviewer will no doubt remain in the dark.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (27 ):

Cinematic segments help to carry the storyline. From a technical point of view, they are very well done. From a content point of view, they are pervasively sinister, violent, and contain mature themes such as demons/demonic possession, deception, murder, and revenge.

Several other, albeit more hidden elements, add concerns for younger players. For example, players can make a character say not-so-innocent comments or blow up creatures in an explosion of guts and blood by clicking on them repeatedly. Also hidden in the gameplay are a couple of explicit words. Although these games are popular, parents would be wise to look at other games before getting either of these for their kids.

Game Details

  • Platform: Windows
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Release date: October 8, 2003
  • Genre: Strategy
  • ESRB rating: T
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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

See how we rate