Again

Common Sense Media says

Serial killer mystery, but may be too disturbing for teens.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A rather frightening message that can be taken from the game is that there are psychopaths out there who can cause any of us harm.

Positive role models

The protagonist, while ultimately heroic, is somewhat obsessed with solving the crime, often risking his own life and health to get the answers.

Ease of play

Most players are bound to have a few "what do I do next?" moments, but there's a nice system built in for getting past those sticky spots -- you can always go back to your office and talk to your partner who will have a suggestion.The game gets far more difficult as it progresses, but none of the puzzles are insurmountable.

Violence

Mulitiple dead bodies are shown, some lying in blood. These bodies (like all the characters in the game) are depicted by real actors, not with computer-drawn graphics. Pools or sprays of blood are visible in many of the crime scenes. Several murders are also shown -- shootings, bludgeonings, and a strangling -- in "past vision," a greenish, blurred video style, similar to what is seen through night-vision lenses. In one of these "past visions," a man doubles over and coughs up a lot of blood.

Sex

Nothing is shown, but there is talk of romantic liaisons. The most graphic the language gets, though, is describing people as "lovers."

Language

Mild swear words occur several times in the dialogue -- hell, damn, crap, bastard.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters who smoke appear in the story, though neither of the protagonists smoke. Even the hero characters do drink alcoholic beverages, though.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is a good deal of violence in this mystery game. While most of the violent acts are seen through a blurry, greenish night-vision lens, the realistic motions of the live actors are still easily recognizable -- as someone being strangled, bludgeoned, or shot. The use of real, filmed actors in lieu of computer graphics makes the violence more realistic. Parents should also be aware that, although the protagonist commits no acts of violence, he witnesses many, mostly through his psyhic power to envision the past. Players will also see characters smoking and drinking. The Teen rating could be a bit lenient, given that this is a frightening tale. Parents should consider what their teens can handle before letting them explore this serial killer mystery.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Jonathan Weaver, the hero of AGAIN, was the 12-year-old sole survivor of a string of unsolved serial killings 19 years ago. Now grown, he is an FBI agent who gets put in charge of investigating what appears to be a string of copycat murders. Or is the first killer recreating his old crimes? Through witness interviews, crime scene investigation, some sneaky use of a reporter friend, and his psychic power to see into the past, Weaver must piece together the mystery and stop the killer before he strikes again. The plot contains several stunning twists along the way. The \"past vision\" segments are played using dual screens that show the same room in the past and the present; the player must walk through (in three-dimensional graphics) and figure out what elements of the setting have changed from then to now.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Any mystery is only as good as its plot, and by that measure, Again is pretty awesome. There are several knock-your-socks-off twists that mystery fans will adore. The hero's psychic ability may seem a bit cheesy to players who prefer a more straightforward whodunit, but the game really couldn't work without it. And, okay, you have to overlook the FBI allowing an agent to investigate a case in which his own famly was killed. But employ a healthy suspension of disbelief and you'll be in for a wild mystery ride. In terms of gameplay, Again is also quite unique. The dual-screen approach, allowing you to investigate the same crime scene in both the present and the past is used to very good effect. That being said, this is not a game for the faint of heart. Even the Teen rating could be a bit lenient. Definitely know your kids and what they can handle before letting them explore this frightening tale.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the use of live, filmed actors in the game. Does seeing real people, as opposed to computer-generated avatars, make the game more exciting? Or more disturbing? It's a novel way of presenting a video game, but is it a better one?

  • Families can also discuss whether violence is ever necessary to tell a story. The engrossing story of Again contains many scenes of violence. Would the story be the same with those scenes not shown? Would the story be more effective if those scenes were depicted in even more graphic ways (i.e. without the night-vision effects obscuring them)?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Tecmo
Release date:March 23, 2010
Genre:Adventure
ESRB rating:T for Blood, Mild Language, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of Again was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byWarri August 7, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Good for 15+

The violence looks realistic and disturbing it might be to intense for childrens including pre-teen. The scenes shows people smoking and drinking.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bySophieGarettt May 20, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Good for people of ages 15+

I think this is good for people of ages 15+ because at that age they should be able to see the options in life and what they want to be, so maybe this could just encourage some teenagers to wanna be well.... Investigators and for me since I'm 16 I would wanna know a lot about it so it's just my opinion. But I still agree with myself
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Kid, 10 years old September 10, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

nintendo ds agrees to make these games?

shouldnt this be rated M?

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide