Alan Wake

Game review by David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Alan Wake Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Story-driven thriller with lots of terror, some violence.

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 37 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Rated 15 (sustained threat, moderate violence).

SEX/NUDITY - A brief innuendo. VIOLENCE/GORE - There are sequences of moderate violence throughout, and although there is no gore, these moments are frequently intense. This includes the main character shooting his way through hordes of enemies that are possessed by some sort of darkness, but there is never any blood and the enemies disintegrate into a blast of light quickly after they are defeated. There are occasional bloody images in the aftermath of some incidents of violence, mainly in cutscenes, but these images are brief and contain no explicit gore. PROFANITY - Some mild language throughout ("sh*t", "son-of-a-b*tch" etc). DRINKING/DRUGS/SMOKING - Some implied excessive drinking in one scene. THREAT/HORROR - A constant sense of strong threat and terror throughout, as the main character is pursued by angry enemies who taunt him and attack with knives, axes, chainsaws and other sharp weapons. These moments sometimes feature a very unsettling tone, particularly some of the first encounters. There are also some sequences of moderate horror. 15 - Suitable only for persons aged 15 years and over. Contains strong content, and is not recommended for playing by any person below the age of 15.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 12+

Good if you're not sure about violent / horror games.

If your child is begging you to let them play video games with more mature themes, Alan Wake is a good game to introduce them to these themes. The title character is trying to save his kidnapped wife, and along the way must defend himself against people who are "possessed" by darkness. The only way to survive is by killing these people. Guns are the main method of killing, but the visual violence is very toned down compared to other games. There is minimal blood involved, as the "monsters" simply vanish into thin air. The character mainly interacts with people of good moral character, including police officers and many cheerful civilians. Some of the people you meet will become possessed, meaning you will have to kill them. Although some people are saying the game is not scary at all, it will probably be for your kids. If you or your kid are afraid of the dark, be prepared to be on constant edge. If you are in a house with lights on, you'll never know if the lights will stay on. Your character must find his way through the dark forests, avoiding the monsters and other obstacles. What makes it scary isn't jumpscares, but instead the suspense of waiting for a monster to appear, and then the chase scenes when you can't destroy all of them in time. Depending on which difficulty you play on, you may run out of ammo often, meaning you'll have to run fast and dodge any attacks while making your way to the next safe haven (usually a street light or similar). There is some mild language in this game, which I only caught after reading the subtitles. If you leave the subtitles off, your kids probably won't catch it, either.

This title has:

Great messages

Game Details

  • Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios
  • Release date: May 18, 2010
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: T for Blood, Language, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
  • Last updated: January 13, 2022

Our Editors Recommend

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