A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game features the standard fantasy theme of "good versus evil," as well as unlikely heroes called to move beyond their limitations and to live up to their true potentials. There are also strong themes for friendship.
Positive Role Models
Ryza is a young girl that begins the story craving adventure, and when she finds it, she discovers that she's capable of more than she thought possible. She and her friends strive achieve their dreams, while also working to help others in need and to save their homeland.
Ease of Play
The game ditches the strictly turn-based combat of previous games in favor of a more real-time system that requires players to constantly be lining up actions without much breathing room. There's also a lot of menu navigation and inventory management required from players in order to be most effective against enemies.
Violence & Scariness
Players fight against creatures, humans, and other enemies in fantasy combat, using a variety of medieval weapons such as swords and staves, combined with magical spells and abilities. There's no blood or gore, with attacks appearing onscreen as flashy effects and defeated enemies simply disappearing from the screen.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters are shown in somewhat suggestive ways, particularly with heavy cleavage that's occasionally highlighted by the camera.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
The words "ass" and "bastard" pop up occasionally in the dialogue.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The game supports the purchase of additional downloadable content (DLC) with additions skins, map, and stories. Latest chapter in the Atelier role-playing game franchise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Although never shown onscreen, the dialogue makes frequent references to drinking alcohol and getting drunk.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is a fantasy role-playing game available for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. Players recruit characters and set out to save their world by fighting against enemies with medieval weapons and magical abilities. There's no blood or gore, with most of the violence taking the form of exaggerated moves and flashy effects. It does have some instances of mild profanity and, while not shown onscreen, the dialogue makes multiple references to drinking alcohol or getting drunk. Finally, while women in the game tend to be portrayed as strong, independent characters, many are still presented in a suggestive manner, with revealing outfits and camera angles that emphasize their bodies.
Is It Any Good?
For more than twenty years and twenty games, fans from around the globe have been drawn into the magic and fantasy of the epic Atelier role-playing series. Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is the series' latest entry, but also marks a new start for the cult-classic franchise. Starting as it does, in a village isolated from the rest of the world, the game's able to start fresh, without having to assume players understand the long history of the prior titles. Newcomers are able to learn about the nuances of alchemy and its importance in this setting from Ryza's perspective, gaining a sense of understanding right alongside her. Meanwhile, characters are engaging enough so that veteran Atelier players still get invested in their stories, even as the familiarity of the world unfolds around them.
Gameplay's also been given a bit of a facelift in Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout. The Synthesis system allows players to use alchemy to create and upgrade various weapons and other items. It's a simplified crafting formula relying on plugging components into a branching recipe, and it gives a certain amount of pride and ownership over items bought or scavenged throughout the adventure. Previously, combat was strictly turn-based, giving players as much time as they wanted to work out their strategy. This time around though, the combat is a hybrid of real-time and turn-based actions. Players still navigate menus and queue up their actions for each turn, but now the clock is always ticking. It creates more tense and complicated battles, especially when trying to adjust your strategy on the fly. Overall, Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is a great introduction to a genuinely magical world, and it's easily the best entry to date in the Atelier series.
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.