Parents' Guide to

El Hijo

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Striking adventure scenes with control complications.

El Hijo Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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The graphics are the standout feature in this app, but the controls keep it from being a fantastic experience. Light streams through windows, forming shapes on the floor, sand blows gently past cacti, and candle flames flicker in El Hijo. Players can move the main character around different scenes by pressing the screen and moving their finger in a direction. Other abilities, such as running or crouching, which comes in handy when you're trying to hide from another character, are also options. Gamers try to avoid other characters by creeping through the shadows in numerous Wild West-type settings. El Hijo, the main character, is visible when in the light and can -- and often will -- be apprehended. Players then have to try to make their way through at least part of the scene again.

The storyline can feel a little sparse -- players don't see much written information, and aside from an occasional grunt, the game's characters don't say much. But gamers should be able to grasp the basic events that are involved. The app does a good job of introducing new elements gradually so you can absorb how each one works. The game controls can be a bit unreliable, though, sometimes causing slight delays when you're trying to walk somewhere or speed up quickly and run. But those are somewhat minor problems compared to a glitch you may run into with the crouching option that's more troublesome. Because you, at times, need to hunker down to avoid detection, not being able to do that can potentially prevent you from getting past certain threats and advancing in the game. Which is a shame -- because otherwise, with impressive visuals and thought-provoking escape challenges, El Hijo could be a fun way for players to both utilize and hone their critical thinking skills.

App Details

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