A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Antihero is a downloadable turn-based strategy game where players work to build the most powerful criminal network in London. They do this by hiring street urchins, thugs, and hit-women to help them burgle, bribe, blackmail, and assassinate their way across the city. Though violence is cartoony and nongraphic, characters frequently attack each other with knives and bludgeons. Children are shown being taken away in a caged carriage by a truant officer, and beer and hard liquor are mentioned during play.
What's it about?
ANTIHERO lets Anglophiles fulfill their long-held dreams of dominating Victorian London by managing a powerful thieves' guild. Taking turns with the AI or with other players online, you collect gold and lanterns by scouting unknown areas and burglarizing buildings, and use those spoils to purchase skills and upgrades. Success depends on hiring an array of criminal denizens like thugs, assassins, urchins, saboteurs, and corruptible truant officers. Campaign mode rewards your successful rise to thieving greatness with a fun Victorian yarn, but if story isn't your bag, you can play skirmishes against the AI in various colorful locations or test other players' sneaky skills in online matches.
Is it any good?
This is the perfect game for anyone who's ever dreamed of being a gentleman (or gentlewoman) thief. Packed with personality, it's a standout among indie or mainstream games. Campaign mode does a fantastic job of helping you get your feet wet, and Skirmish mode lets you hone your skills against AI before taking your sticky-fingered show on the road. What really makes Antihero so great, though, is that it's funny and well-crafted enough to keep you entertained even when you're losing. You'll learn to appreciate that, because it takes a while to learn when to upgrade and when to save your money, when to scout and when to attack. And just when you start to get the hang of things, your goals change.
Skirmish mode offers colorful locations like a wharf, a masquerade ball, and the royal palace, each with different win conditions that demand different strategies. The game's three modes -- Campaign, Skirmish, and Online -- mean that its replayability is high, which means good value for the money. True, at the moment it can take a while to find an online match (it seems there aren't enough people playing just yet), but if you have the patience to stretch a versus match over several days, you can opt for the turn-based ones. Oh, and if you love Victorian literature, for a few bucks more you can download additional hero skins of Scrooge, Sherlock, Tiny Tim, and Alice in Wonderland. This one's been a long time coming and it's well worth the wait. So if you love strategy, don't let this one get away: at $14.99, it's a steal.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in Antihero OK because it's cartoonish, or is it problematic because it showcases criminal violence?
Discuss how the media romanticizes thieves and other kinds of criminals. Can you think of a famous hero-criminal?
Talk about why bad boys (and girls) have so much appeal. Why are we drawn to movie/game villains?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.