A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Messages include atoning for past mistakes, doing the right thing even at your own personal cost.
Positive Role Models
Bullet is a talented and faithful companion, and it's hard not to get attached to this particular "good boy." Ellis, meanwhile, is a character whose overall demeanor and personality is shaped by the player based on actions and decisions made, many of which can put a heavy strain on his mental stability.
Ease of Play
The difficulty in Blair Witch doesn't come from the controls, which are actually pretty intuitive. The difficulty comes in the openness of the game. It's extremely easy to get lost in the woods or to lose track of Bullet, and many times, it's difficult to sort out exactly what the game expects you to do to progress further.
Violence & Scariness
While a lot of the game's scares are the result of building tension and anxiety, there are still scenes of violence, abuse, kidnapping, and more, some of which are exhibited toward children. Blood's occasionally shown on screen as well.
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The game's dialogue makes casual use of profanity, including "s--t" and "f--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Packs of cigarettes and bottles of alcohol occasionally pop up.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Blair Witch is a horror themed first-person adventure game available for download on Xbox One and Windows-based PCs. The game's set within the fictional universe first established in the 1999 film, The Blair Witch Project. Players set out into the wood with their canine companion as part of a search party looking for a missing child. After getting lost in the woods, players are forced to confront an evil entity stalking them, while also coping with events from their own past. The game features intense scenes of violence, kidnapping, and abuse, with occasional blood shown onscreen. The dialogue makes frequent and casual use of strong profanity. Packs of cigarettes and alcohol pop up in the environment as well.
Is It Any Good?
There's nothing quite as terrifying as the feeling of being lost and alone, except the dread of realizing that maybe you're not quite as alone as you thought. That's the constant anxiety that looms as you play through Blair Witch. As you search the woods for clues, you can't help but feel there's something always lurking in the shadows, stalking you and waiting to strike. The game does a phenomenal job of creating an atmosphere that sends chills down your spine. You, much like Ellis, come to rely on your dog, Bullet, for a sense of security. Unfortunately, between the darkness seeping through the woods or the thick overgrowth, it's extremely easy to lose sight of your canine sidekick. In fact, there were a lot of times when you will frantically call for Bullet only to realize he's already right at your side but just out of the first-person field of vision. Because Bullet's such an integral part of keeping you alive and sane, it can be frustrating and almost panic inducing when you can't find him.
Blair Witch's open gameplay is both its biggest draw and its biggest glaring flaw. It takes a relatively hands-off approach, leaving you to explore how and where you like. While that does do a lot to bring you more closer to that feeling of being lost in the woods, oftentimes the fear quickly gives way to frustration as you wander in circles trying to figure out exactly what you're supposed to do next. Usually, this is where the reality-altering "found footage" video tapes come in, with players pausing footage on the tape to affect items in the real world. But it's not always obvious what needs to be changed, or which clues the tapes are trying to drop. It doesn't help that icons representing key items or clues don't necessarily show up unless you happen to get right on top of them. Eventually, you'll get back on track and watch the story unfold, but these moments of confusion can often take the player out of the overall experience. Still, Blair Witch is more than scary enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on and listening out for things that go bump in the night.
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.