A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game focuses on the importance of family and community as Hilda seeks to reunite with her father and the rest of the Northwind Legion. During her journey, she utilizes empathy, compassion, and teamwork to achieve her goals.
Positive Role Models
Hilda, the main character, is empathetic and always open to listening to people and helping them with their problems. Many of the surrounding characters assist Hilda in trying to purge Aphes of the curse that plagues it.
The game features a female protagonist, as well as an interesting mixture of the Greek and Roman mythologies among the locations, characters, and enemy designs. Beyond that, there's not much in the way of other cultural portrayals.
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Ease of Play
Combat and movement, for the most part, feel satisfying and fluid. But there's a jumping mechanic that can make traversal across an area difficult. Jumping requires a push of the sprint button combined with one other button, which may lead to players accidentally leaping to their deaths.
Violence & Scariness
While there's a focus on combat and violence, there's very little bloodshed and gore. Hilda will use swords, shields, daggers, hammers, and magical items to take on the legions of enemies in her way.
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The profanity never gets stronger than the infrequent instances of "damn" and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There are very mild allusions to some people becoming addicted to a fantasy-based substance similar to the effects of drugs, but the game only makes the occasional reference to these cases.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is a downloadable single-player action RPG (role-playing game) available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Players will assume the role of Hilda as she searches for her father and the rest of the Northwind Legion in the cursed city of Aphes. Along the way, Hilda will go up against many demons, cultists, and other terrible monsters with swords, shields, daggers, hammers, and magical items. But despite that focus on violence, there's very little bloodshed and gore. The game has a very strong moral center with Hilda, the main character, constantly showcasing empathy, compassion, and a willingness to work with others to rid Aphes of its terrible curse. There's also a focus on family and community as Hilda builds bonds with dependable, trustworthy people to save her father and the rest of the Legion. While the controls are mostly solid and responsive, a bothersome jumping mechanic does tend to the moment-to-moment gameplay in its tracks.
Is It Any Good?
Few things are more tragic than a game that's so close to being magnificent and can't quite reach those heights. Asterigos: Curse of the Stars tries its best to be another "Souls-like" game, and in many ways, it's a breath of fresh air from titles attempting a similar formula. For starters, the choice of difficulty is always welcome for action RPGs (role-playing games) where some players won't want a "pure" experience that would rather beat them up instead of letting them make mistakes and learn in the heat of a battle. Asterigos perfectly balances the scales for players who crave an easier or more challenging experience with enemies that constantly keep you on your toes. There's also a surprising amount of depth in the story and characters. Many characters have full, fleshed-out backstories and evolve with the in-game events as situations change. It feels like the surrounding world existed long before Hilda was born and will continue on after she's gone, making every piece of lore you find or character you talk to more of an informal necessity than needless busywork.
Yet, for everything Asterigos does right, there are many small things keeping the game from its full potential. One thing sorely absent is a map or objective markers. In a game with so many nooks, crannies and winding, vast areas, the lack of a sense of direction leads to unnecessary wandering, hoping you'll bump into where the game intends for you to go next. Additionally, while there's a jumping mechanic, it requires two buttons – one of which is also the sprint button. This makes jumping a nightmare, inevitably leading to many silly deaths where you'll fly off a high ledge to your doom by accident. Though fun, there's a certain "floaty" quality to the combat where you or an enemy may not move exactly as intended, leading to a quick death. All in all, Asterigos is a fun, but flawed, challenge for both newcomers and veterans to anyone craving something different within the "Souls-like" action RPG space.
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.