Bloodroots

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Bloodroots Game Poster Image
Bloody one-hit-kill action game is focused on revenge.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This is a revenge tale, focusing on a hero who's betrayed and left for dead. It revels in the excitement of battle and glamorizes bloody combat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mr. Wolf is wronged and becomes obsessed with vengeance. He kills anyone who stands in his way, showing few signs of level-headedness or guilt.  

Ease of Play

The controls are straightforward, but the action's unforgiving. A single hit from any enemy will kill Mr. Wolf, and most weapons typically last between just one and three strikes before needing to be replaced. Failure comes often, but checkpoints load quickly.

Violence

Action's viewed from a raised top down perspective, with cartoonish characters that are small but still easily discernible. The hero uses anything he can get his hands on as a weapon, from swords and axes to firecrackers, gears, and even animal skins. Successful attacks typically result in characters sliding across the ground, leaving huge smears of red blood in their wake. The final kill of each section is accompanied by a close-up, cinematic camera angle showing the violence in greater detail, including large splashes of blood.

Sex
Language

Dialogue contains occasional profanity, including the words "f--k" and "god-damned"

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There are occasional references to drinks that are potentially alcoholic.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Bloodroots is an isometric (nearly top-down) action game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. The story is about a man named Mr. Wolf who goes on a rage-fueled quest for vengeance after being betrayed and left for dead by village raiders. Under the player's control, he uses anything he can get his hands on as a weapon, including axes, ladders, carrots, and wheels. The enemies he strikes typically slide across the environment, leaving large smears of blood in their wake. Close-up, cinematic finishing moves cap the end of each scene. The action's fast and frenetic, with most characters -- including Mr. Wolf -- capable of being killed with a single blow. Dialogue is sparse, but players will encounter occasional profanity -- including the F-word -- and reference to unspecified (but presumably alcoholic) "drinks."

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What's it about?

BLOODROOTS begins with a man wearing a wolf skin being shot and left for dead by the leader of a group of raiders who have just pillaged a village. But he survives. And now he's obsessed with exacting revenge on those who have wronged him. The man -- known only as Mr. Wolf -- embarks on an epic quest to kill the culprits, and he's willing to use anything within reach as a tool to achieve his vengeance. In his hands swords, axes, gears, wheels, firecrackers, ladders, raccoons, carrots, and more become weapons capable of killing most enemies with just a single hit. He can even use some of these objects as a means to traverse obstacles and flatten groups of enemies while riding them, racking up big kill combos. But Mr. Wolf -- and the player -- must exercise prudence, since a single hit is all it takes for an enemy to kill our hero, as well. Divided into scenes and acts, the story plays out quickly, with players encouraged to replay levels in a quest to rack up ever more impressive combos and climb world leaderboards.

Is it any good?

Players had best not mind dying, because they're bound to do a lot of it in this frenetic action game. Bloodroots' main shtick is that just about any object can be picked up and used as a weapon, from chains and fence posts to pots and animal skins. They break almost as quickly as Mr. Wolf finds them, but new weapons are plentiful and can be equipped with a button tap. Since most enemies are killed with a single hit, the action tends to be extremely fast-paced, with players encouraged to grab weapons without even stopping as they rush between foes. With such a powerful hero, the only way to keep players from easily rampaging through enemies is to give him a weakness, which, in Mr. Wolf's case, is the fact that he, too, can be killed with a single blow. That means he tends to die. A lot. Thankfully, the game reloads previous save points almost instantly. But checkpoints can feel few and far between, which means players may end up killing the same enemies over and over before dying at the same tricky spot and being forced to begin again.

Stick with it, though, and you're likely to achieve a weird sort of Zen state as you begin to master different types of weapons (each one has its own effects, area of attack, and, in some cases, secondary traversal abilities) and become intimately familiar with the layout of each level. You'll begin putting together spectacular combos that are equal parts silly and ultraviolent. It's the sort of game that becomes more enjoyable the more you play, with satisfaction mounting not from completing scenes, advancing the story, or even defeating bosses, but instead from honing your skills and stringing together seemingly impossible physical feats. It won't be for everyone, but players who enjoy skill-based games with challenging combat and imaginative visuals are bound to have a blast with Bloodroots.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in the media. Is the impact of the violence in Bloodroots affected by the stylized blood and gore that's shown? What makes this kind of violence so appealing? Why do you think some of us enjoy watching over the top violence?

  • What is the primary purpose revenge is meant to serve? Is it the same as justice? Are there other ways people can cope with their anger and despair that might be more effective and less destructive?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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