A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Some basic good-vs.-evil themes in the story. Bigger themes of teamwork, though, whether it's the party members working together to defeat enemies or players working together in cooperative play.
Positive Role Models
Party members tend to be stereotypical fantasy characters. While they generally fill specific roles and archetypes, they still tend to be heroic in nature.
Some diversity in terms of race, gender, and even species of the different potential party members, though there's not much character development to make them stand out beyond their assigned roles.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Ease of Play
General gameplay is relatively easy to learn. There's more complexity in actions between battles -- things like upgrading your characters' equipment, decks, etc., while also using resources to improve the various town structures.
Violence & Scariness
Players fight against all manner of fantasy monsters, from humanoid arachnids and vicious demons to possessed sheep and animated ears of corn. Combat is turn-based and uses cards for actions, but animations still show fighting with various weapons and spells, plus bleeding and blood splatter.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Online interactions with other live players may occasionally involve some offensive language.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Across the Obelisk is a downloadable deck-building fantasy role-playing game available on Windows-, macOS-, and Linux-based computers. Players control a party of adventurers as they explore the map, fight monsters, and complete quests. Characters use customized decks of cards in turn-based battles that feature animations of battle, complete with some minor on-screen blood. Characters have a decent range of diversity, though they're generally just templates for stereotypical fantasy game roles. Players can go on solo adventures or team up with up to three other people for cooperative online play. Parents should be aware that online games can be private or public, and could potentially expose younger audiences to offensive behavior from others.
Is It Any Good?
Deck-building games have been popular among tabletop games for some time, but combining them with more traditional role-playing video games is a much more recent idea. Across the Obelisk is another game that tries its hand at the developing formula, stacking the deck with a few interesting concepts. One of the game's biggest selling points is its co-op feature, which supports up to four players joining forces in public and private game sessions. Players try to work together as a party to chain actions together effectively. The turn-based combat and party-based decision-making does a pretty good job of bringing a tabletop gaming feel to the online experience. While matches are easy enough to set up and jump into, like many co-op games, the fun lives and dies by who you find yourself teamed up with. While some random matches were fine for a quick play, there were also plenty of times that other random party members made sessions feel more frustrating than fun. It's definitely better if you can get some friends together for private adventures.
Whether you play solo or with friends, Across the Obelisk does have a lot to offer. There are more than 500 cards available to find, craft, or upgrade, giving a lot of variety in how you choose to play. The procedurally generated sessions mean that every playthrough, while familiar, is uniquely different. That said, there are still a lot of places where you'll draw the low card. For starters, the balance of the game is frustrating. One minute, enemies aren't particularly difficult but still take a long time to defeat. The next, the party members get wiped out in one shot. There's also a lot of trial and error when using cards, as the game doesn't always do a good job of explaining how they work, particularly the effect some cards might have on others. In spite of this, when it plays its cards right, Across the Obelisk manages to be a good fantasy adventure best shared with friends.
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.