A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Basic save-the-world fantasy tropes drive story forward. Themes of friendship and destiny run through the narrative.
Positive Role Models
Each hero is complex with mix of traits. Some seem greedy, self-centered, eager to fight, but they tend to do the right thing when push comes to shove. The player's avatar -- whose gender and appearance can be customized -- is generally the conscience of the group.
Ease of Play
Players can adjust various difficulty options (such as whether to enable permanent death) at game's outset, but parts of the experience -- including puzzles -- remain challenging regardless of settings. Tutorials provide detailed explanations of game mechanics, but mastering combat and character growth takes time.
Violence & Scariness
Turn-based first-person combat against fantasy creatures such as skeletons and dragons involves medieval weapons (swords, hammers, shields, bows) and magic. Splashes of blood sometimes accompany successful strikes. Enemies disappear once defeated.
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Players will encounter occasional mild language in text and spoken dialogue, including the word "pissing."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Operencia: The Stolen Sun is a first-person role-playing game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs with turn-based combat. Players control a group of up to four heroes that explore a fantasy-themed world, fighting skeletons, dragons, and other creatures using swords, hammers, bows, and magical attacks. Successful strikes occasionally result in small splashes of blood, and enemies disappear once defeated. The heroes are a motley bunch with a variety of traits, some good and some bad, but they generally come around when it really matters to do the right thing and help their friends combat the evil invading the world. Parents should also be aware that this can be a fairly challenging game -- especially some of its contextual puzzles -- that requires patience and strategy to succeed. There's also some mild language, such as "pissing," that pops up in dialogue.
Is It Any Good?
This should prove a tasty little treat for anyone looking for a throwback to first-person dungeon crawlers of days gone by. Operencia: The Stolen Sun skips twitchy and sensational real-time combat for classic turn-based battles that force players to consider enemy strengths, immunities, and positions on the battlefield in order to create effective offensive and defensive strategies based on the current party members' abilities. Success depends on developing a group of heroes with a broad array of abilities so that you can exploit weaknesses and use the proper weapons and spells for enemies located near or far. A well-managed team will let you dispatch most enemies quickly and efficiently, while a poorly constructed party will result in battles stretching on, draining health and resources along the way. Combat starts off in forgiving fashion as players learn the ropes, but it doesn't take long before you're required to start making smart decisions or suffer the consequences.
When not in battle, players will explore the world and set themselves to solving any contextual puzzles they might find, which can involve tasks such as throwing switches in a specific order to open and close gates, or finding weights to weigh down a lever. Some areas force players to exercise patience and pay attention to details. Scanning the environment for useful items is key, as is thinking about all of the tools and abilities at your disposal. But making things needlessly difficult is a strange and seemingly unnecessary tile-based first-person movement system that restricts your ability to roam, making it hard to get close to and identify some objects. If you can grow accustomed to this quirk, there's plenty of old-school dungeon crawling fun to be had. Operencia: The Stolen Sun has a great cast of characters, some truly imaginative levels, and a strategic and compelling combat system that should serve as a refreshing antidote for fantasy RPG (role-playing game) fans who've grown tired of reflex-based real-time fighting.
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.