A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that World of Tanks is a downloadable free-to-play online historical (mid-20th-century) armored-tank combat-warfare game where players join with friends and strangers to challenge other teams in arena-based combat. The goal is to destroy the other team or capture control points on the map. Though World of Tanks is free to play, it has an online store that sells premium items and gives incentives to purchase premium time. Communication among teammates is a large part of the strategic planning, so the potential for unmoderated language is quite high. Though the game is violent, there's no blood or gore shown; instead, tanks are immobilized, catch fire, and explode in combat.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
WORLD OF TANKS is an online multiplayer competitive real-time strategy team-based armored-warfare battle-arena game where players control mechanized tanks. Players command five types of mid-20th-century armored vehicles -- Light, Medium, and Heavy Tanks, Tank Destroyers, and SPGs (self-propelled guns) -- to navigate the war zone, firing projectiles at enemy vehicles. Competition occurs in up to 15-vs.-15 battles aimed at either destroying all the other team's tanks or capturing and holding control points on the map to earn the win. Battles are accompanied by large explosions, smoke and fire, and tanks and buildings breaking. Each battle earns you achievements, experience, and gold that can be used to upgrade your tank's equipment, unlock higher-tiered tanks, and train your commanders.
Is it any good?
This mechanized-combat game takes the armored vehicles of the mid-20th century and places them into an action-packed arena that keeps players on the edges of their seats. The tanks are built to historically accurate specifications, and, a battle-arena game, it excels at also being a strategic game that doesn't get drawn out in excessively long battles; matches are usually kept to within 30 minutes. The basic controls are simple and intuitive, but mastering the advanced controls takes a lot of practice. Players are encouraged to work as a team executing a variety of strategies -- sudden ambushes, cunning flank attacks, head-on confrontations -- all to deliver a decisive blow to the competition.
Beyond the game's value as entertainment, it provides an immersion in the history of the tanks and the countries they represented. Currently, World of Tanks has armored vehicles from six countries; U.S.A., Japan, Russia, China, Germany, and Britain. As with all the Wargaming titles, these are great games for military buffs and are family-friendly. Younger kids can easily master the game so long as parents keep in mind the unmoderated language they may get exposed to during matches. The greatest value of World of Tanks is the stunning beauty of the game, the reasonable gameplay sessions, and the critical thinking and strategic planning wrapped in a fun and engaging game that can provide hours of fun for a single player or for gameplay with family and friends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork and communication in games such as World of Tanks. How does proper communication foster teamwork? Do you like playing with someone who's polite or rude?
Talk about the importance of online safety. What should -- and shouldn't -- kids be sharing with strangers? How can you protect personal and account information from strangers?
- Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Subjects: Social Studies: history
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, logic, making conclusions, prediction, problem solving, strategy, thinking critically
Creativity: combining knowledge, developing novel solutions
Self-Direction: achieving goals, effort, goal-setting, identifying strengths and weaknesses, set objectives, time management, work to achieve goals, working efficiently
Emotional Development: handling stress, moving beyond obstacles, persevering, perspective taking
Communication: asking questions, friendship building, listening, presenting, speaking
Collaboration: cooperation, group projects, meeting challenges together, respecting other viewpoints, teamwork
Responsibility & Ethics: learning from consequences, making wise decisions, respect for others
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Pricing structure: Free (The game is free to download and play, but premium accounts give 50% more experience and gold for a fee between $8 and $46/month. There's an option to purchase a disc for consoles, price varies.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Wargaming.net
- Release date: April 12, 2011
- Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG)
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, History
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Violence
- Last updated: April 10, 2020
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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.