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Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans (video game) facts for kids

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Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans
Developer(s) Virtual Identity
Publisher(s) Slitherine Software (EU)
Graffiti Entertainment (NA)
Platform(s) Nintendo DS, Wii, Windows
Release date(s) August 7, 2009 (EU)
March 14, 2010 (NA)
Genre(s) Adventure, Educational

Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans, is a 2009 educational adventure video game theme on Ancient Rome as part of the Horrible Histories franchise, which began in 1993. The game was released on Wii, Nintendo DS and Windows and is narrated by Terry Deary, the author of the Horrible Histories book series. It is named after Deary's 2003 book Ruthless Romans, his second on the topic after 1999's Rotten Romans.


In the game's "Story Mode" the player assumes the role of Rassimus, a young Dacian man that escaped during the peasant riots. Rassimus was captured by Lucius, leader of the fifth Roman Legion, sent there to suppress the Dacian strike. Rassimus later becomes under Lucius Gladius' control and begins training at the gladiator school of Rome to become the champion gladiator and acquire his freedom. The portions of the narrative which set up and progress the story are narrated by Deary, with "accompanying stills presented in comic-book fashion". The game is built up by 3D polygons "with flat features and textures in the style of the book illustrations" by Martin Brown. The game taught players historical information in a "less academic and more engaging form".


The game contains a few different modes, all of which requiring the player to complete the same minigames; however, the Story Mode also has a narrative that threads the minigames together. The game is a piece of edutainment, deliberately designed for the player to learn as they play. Play involves the player completing various minigames and activities. These include: searching through written content, talking to people, and completing quests, all of which provide clues or inventory that helps the player progress. In order to move up a level in difficulty, the player must first complete a quiz about the Romans. As a gladiator, the player must also fight in the Colosseum. In total, the game contains over 30 minigames. CBBC recommended to use a nunchuck when playing the game on a Wii, whereas a D-Pad was used by Nintendo Life's Sean Aaron for directional movement of the playable character. The multiplayer game can be played with up to three people.

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