The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
By David Chapman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Emotional tale centers on kid's fantasy coping mechanism.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Chris uses his superhero fantasy as a way of coping with his grief, fears, obstacles, and underlying family issues.
Positive Role Models
Chris is a good kid who has a lot of emotional weight dropped on him. He stays positive and works hard to take care of his father. Chris' dad cares deeply for him but struggles with issues in a much more destructive way -- drinking heavily and occasionally neglecting or even causing harm to Chris.
Ease of Play
Gameplay is essentially point-and-click in an open sandbox. Chris explores his home and interacts with objects he comes across. There are some small puzzle elements, but overall, the point is simply to guide Chris' fantasy and uncover the deeper story along the way.
Violence & Scariness
Chris plays with his action figures, imagining grand battles between good and evil. It's also strongly implied that Chris' dad has gotten violent with Chris while drinking at some point.
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Chris' dad uses "f--k," "s--t," "ass," and other variations regularly, either toward Chris directly or in the background while watching his sports game.
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Products & Purchases
While this is a self-contained experience, it's set within the Life Is Strange universe and serves as both a spin-off and a lead-in to Life Is Strange 2.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking to excess is a key part of the plot as Chris deals with his dad's alcoholism. Players can also choose to have Chris steal one of his dad's cigarettes and use it later in the game.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a mature interactive story adventure that's available for download on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. The game follows a young boy who's coping with real-world issues by using his imagination -- and his fantasy of being a comic book superhero. There's some mild violence when the boy, Chris, plays with his action figures and as he enjoys his make-believe adventures. It's also implied that Chris has been physically hurt by his father, who's fighting a losing battle with alcoholism. Throughout the game, Chris' father swears directly at Chris on occasion and can be heard using profanity in the background, cursing at the television with frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "ass," and more.
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The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
Based on 2 parent reviews
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What’s It About?
THE AWESOME ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN SPIRIT tells the story of a kid who's tied a blanket around his neck as a cape and zoomed off for adventure, pretending to be his favorite comic book superhero. Nine-year-old Chris Eriksen uses his imagination to become Captain Spirit, venturing forth to defend humanity from the evil Mantroid and his cadre of supervillains. While Chris may run into things like a broken water heater and a snowman in real life, it's Captain Spirit who faces off against the likes of the menacing "Water Eater" and "Snowmancer." For Chris, real life is tough: He's coping with the loss of his loving mother and caring for a father who finds solace in the bottom of a bottle. But as Captain Spirit, Chris finds the strength to carry on, and players get a glimpse at the reality of his world. Is it possible there's even more to Chris' story?
Is It Any Good?
This emotional tale will tug at players' heartstrings while engaging them in a larger adventure surrounding a little boy who's going through a very challenging time. Like anyone needing a break from reality from time to time, Chris could use a little escapism. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit tells the story of the fantasy he creates to cope with the world around him. Players take on the role of an observer, guiding Chris' journey and discovering bits and pieces of his family life along the way. From the start, it's hard not to feel empathy for his situation and admire how, in spite of the issues he faces, he keeps his attitude positive. What the game lacks in fast-paced action or mind-bending puzzles, it more than makes up for in heart and emotion. In many ways, it feels less like a game and more like an interactive movie.
While Captain Spirit is a self-contained story, it also serves as an introduction to the Life Is Strange 2 game. Some of the choices you make here will affect events there. And it's also a story that's meant to be played multiple times, which is good because it's a pretty short experience. From start to finish, Chris' story clocks in at about two hours. That might be hard to swallow if this was a full retail release, but if you look at it as one chapter in a greater story (and a free chapter at that), it's a great way to visit the Life Is Strange universe and to introduce newcomers to the emotional journey that usually comes with it. Still, even on its own, Captain Spirit manages to do something amazing. It genuinely pulls at your heartstrings as you view the world through the prism of Chris' imagination. And when the credits finally roll, you'll be left with a sense of hope -- and a desire to learn what's still to come.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about alcohol abuse. What are some of the symptoms and signs of alcoholism? What are some ways that alcoholism can affect loved ones? What sorts of treatments are available for alcoholics -- and for those having to cope with the alcoholism?
What are some positive and negative ways to work through tragedy and grief? What should kids do when they're facing unhealthy and harmful behavior from those they care about?
Other than Chris' resilience, what other character strengths does he demonstrate in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit? Why is it challenging to remain positive in the face of problems like Chris'?
- Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows
- Pricing structure: Free
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Release date: June 25, 2018
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures
- Character Strengths: Empathy
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: August 26, 2022
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