Teachers can use Crisis of Nations as a way to supplement study of global conflict and international diplomacy. They can set up groups of four students to play the game together or set up teams. This collaborative element is excellent in demonstrating that one nation can’t go it alone in the face of a crisis. After playing, a class can discuss which strategies worked and which ones did not. The game has a random element to its gameplay, so kids can discuss whether that helped or hindered their experience.Continue reading Show less
Crisis of Nations is a simulation game where kids are put in charge of a country during an international crisis. They decide how to use the country's resources during global incidents, which can include natural disasters, border wars, or military coups. The player works collaboratively with either live or computer-generated allies.
To start, the player chooses a country, creates a flag, and joins the international community. When a crisis takes place, the player works in tandem with three other players (computer-generated, if you are alone; with other students, if the teacher sets up a class) to solve the problem by sending troops, economic aid, and other variables. A ticking clock lets you know that time is of the essence, and if your team cannot solve the crisis in the allotted time, you all lose points. If you do find a way to avert disaster, all the nations gain points.
Sometimes teammates can exert influence on you, forcing you to use up resources that you might have otherwise hoped to save for later. Players can easily keep tabs on their own resources andcan learn more about their collaborators by clicking on other informational boxes. When a player reaches an established point total, the game ends.
Full Disclosure: iCivics and Common Sense Education share a funder; however, that relationship does not impact Common Sense Education's editorial independence and this learning rating.
The animation and graphics found within Crisis of Nations are somewhat rudimentary, as if a board game had been converted into a computer game. However, the game lets kids experience some of the complex influences that nations feel when trying to avert a global crisis. They get to decide whether to spy on other nations, use diplomacy, or bring the military into a situation to force other nations to use their hoarded resources for the global good. While not as engaging as commercially available polished sims, this learning game lets kids cooperate with others to explore strategies that work. By playing, kids experience both the pros and cons of political alliances.
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