Parents' Guide to

Abzu

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Artistic aquatic adventure filled with mystery, wonder.

Game PlayStation 4 , Windows 2016
Abzu Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 5+

My children are very much into nature stuff in general, enjoying TV such as octonauts etc, so they were absolutely thrilled by this. There is a (seemingly) menacing shark in the game and exploring the dark depths of the sea can appear scary - but the story is gentle and positive. I highly recommend this to parents who are ok with children having exposure to games, yet have lingering concerns about their educational value. There are all sorts of unusual sea creatures colourfully depicted and fairly truthfully depicted here - you can't go wrong. Control may require a bit of guidance/tinkering at first but not a major hurdle.
age 4+

Awesome exploration game devoid of violence

The controls were a bit challenging for my four year old, but it was great to play with her while she was two and three (opportunity to press the buttons to activate events). She finds the Subnautica controls a bit easier to grasp and often chooses that over Abzu, even while Abzu's content is much more at her level.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (4 ):

There seems to be a never-ending debate as to whether or not video games could ever be considered true works of art, but this could easily be considered a masterpiece. The best way to describe the game is poetry in motion, as you swim through the ocean depths, surrounded by all manner of aquatic life. Movement in the game is fluid (no pun intended), not only for the Diver but for the animals, the plant life, and everything else surrounding your senses. It's almost Zen-like to ease up to a stingray and hitch a ride on it, cruising through the currents and watching the schools of fish zip by.

Just based on the presentation alone, Abzu is a phenomenal experience, but there's a deep story here as well. The game takes its name from the ancient Sumerian myth of a cosmic sea that exists between the Earth and the underworld. This influence is shown in the paintings and writing on ruined temple walls, as well as the ethereal shrines where the diver returns life and light to dead areas of dark water. The game encourages players to explore areas off the beaten path, to discover the elements of the story on their own, and to interpret what they find as they see fit. While Abzu gives you the building blocks, the game ultimately leaves it to you to write your own story. The result is an experience that's as deeply and emotionally personal for the player as it is for the Diver.

Game Details

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