A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Themes from the game include using intelligence to solve problems, uncover knowledge, and save lives. They also cover using personal responsibility to respond to challenges and being willing to be responsible for discoveries that can affect others.
Positive Role Models
Ana's a great role model. She's highly intelligent, brave, adventuresome, and determined. As the latest in a long line of scientific geniuses, she's well prepared to understand her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather's discoveries, as well as shoulder the responsibility that knowledge demands.
Ease of Play
Everything -- movement, dialogue, and item use -- is done by tapping or clicking on the screen.
Violence & Scariness
Some suggestion of violence during a sequence relating a deadly historical theater fire, but nothing graphic or explicit is shown.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one scene, a theater owner drinks from a mug of beer while he works.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Perils of Man: Episode 1 is a downloadable adventure game in which a teenage girl tries to uncover her family's secrets. Ana is a resourceful, intelligent young girl who's trying to save lives and shoulder heavy burdens of scientific discoveries. Although this fanciful story and its frequently amusing dialogue are completely appropriate for children of all ages, some character interactions and puzzles could be too complex for younger children to fully understand. Fortunately, movement and interaction with objects are handled by clicking or tapping on the screen. There's one moment when a theater owner drinks a beer and a mention of a historic fire that sounds mildly violent, but there's no objectionable content otherwise.
Is It Any Good?
Perils of Man: Episode 1 is an adventure in the spirit of the much-loved point-and-clicks of the 1980s. It's a fantastic combination of story, exploration, and puzzle-solving. The main character, Ana, is fun to play because she comes from a long line of mad geniuses who've left her a legacy of cool gadgets, top-secret information, and potentially world-changing discoveries. The game's main point is finding out what exactly Ana's absentee father was up to before he left. That provides plenty of puzzles in the form of codes that need deciphering, machines that need fixing, and secret doors that need opening. Most kids (and many adults) would love finding a secret lab full of Jules Verne-like items under their houses, and Perils of Man lets them do just that. There's a lot of dialogue, but it's generally amusing and good at providing subtle hints. That's a good thing, because some puzzles can only be solved with these hints and an alternate viewpoint from a unique gadget. Players who forget to use this alternate view could get stumped on a couple of the challenges. There's also one puzzle using map coordinates that's fairly confusing due to its clunky interface.
Despite this, Perils of Man is a lot of fun to play, and it looks and sounds great. It starts with a stylish homage to the Twilight Zone narrated by a Rod Serling lookalike and goes on to reveal a world rendered in wonderfully Tim Burton-esque 3-D. The characters are comically exaggerated, and their charming surroundings are skewed to match. Further, the visual presentation is supported by funny, clever writing and expert voice acting, not to mention a moody musical score. But, as with so many games made in an episodic format, the main weakness is that it ends on a frustrating cliffhanger. Just when things start to get good, the credits roll, and you realize you'll have to wait who-knows-how-long before finding out what happens next. Even so, Perils of Man is an entertaining and inventive adventure game that's well worth playing.
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.