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Parents' Guide to

The Martian: Bring Him Home

By Lisa Caplan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Immersive real-time story adds to franchise, stands alone.

The Martian: Bring Him Home Poster Image

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Kids say (1 ):

Though knowing the story from either the book or movie will deepen the experience, this text-based adventure can stand alone as an exciting, real-time game. Unlike other games of its kind, there are two streams of information: transmissions from Mark and emails from the NASA crew. This extra layer adds another dimension to gameplay and makes it even more realistic. One drawback, however, is that it's not always clear when the emails inform a player's choices and when they don't, so some choices end up feeling like a flip of the coin. That may be the intention, but because the stakes are meant to feel high, it would be nice to have a bit more consistency. Kids also might get frustrated with the "real-world" lag time when Mark sleeps or has to do a job, but it really does add to the illusion. More sensitive kids might not enjoy the feeling of responsibility, but most will enjoy the sense of empowerment and control. Consider having kids read the book first or using the app as a bridge to the book for more reluctant readers.

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