Bastion

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Bastion App Poster Image
Masterful port of Xbox 360 hit; mild violence.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Bastion wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Ease of Play

The game has reworked the controls for the iPad, making it even easier to navigate through the land. The action, though, is much like the PC version, which is never overly challenging -- unless a player decides to explore the game's "proving grounds" to get new weapons. 

Violence

Players regularly attack a series of fantasy creatures using hammers, guns, arrows, and other weapons. There's no blood or gore, though, as enemies simply vanish in a pop when defeated. The game's hero has to watch his step, too, or he'll tumble off of a ledge or through a hole, dying. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The lead character visits a "distillery" to drink "spirits" between levels, though these are basically just potions that give him passive boosts, such as increased health or offensive capabilities. He also inhales smoke from a pipe in one scene. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bastion is an iPad adaptation of the Xbox 360 hit action/role-playing game. The game features frequent, not-especially-violent combat against a variety of enemies using a plethora of weapons, including hammers, guns, and swords. The game's hero occasionally drinks "spirits" from the "distillery" to boost things like health. They're obvious potions and wouldn't be a concern in other games, if not for the use of real-world terms. 

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What's it about?

Players control a boy who wakes up to find his world destroyed by an unknown disaster. They explore and rebuild that world as they search for the reasons behind its destruction, with their story narrated by a wise (often funny) voice. Users tap where they want \"The Kid\" to go, double-tapping to get him to dodge when under attack. He targets enemies automatically if they're in range. To protect him from attack, users press a shield button, and they can swap weapons with a touch as well. Be careful of edges, as \"The Kid\" can easily fall off them.

Is it any good?

While Bastion's gameplay is incredibly well-done, the game is truly memorable because of the witty, wise narrator, who keeps the story moving while also commenting on every little action the hero takes -- including when he accidentally plunges to his death. It's as if the developers tapped in to that inner monologue we sometimes imagine when playing (or even doing real world activities). 

The game also offers a diverse group of enemies and enough paths to explore that it stays true to its role-playing roots, while blending in puzzles and plenty of action. Nothing was lost in the port from the Xbox 360 version of the game -- and it might just have gotten better. 

App details

For kids who love role-playing games

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