A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Butcher is a downloadable action game. While the game's visuals are purposely crude, pixelated, and in 2D, gameplay is brutally violent and gory. As a cyborg on a genocidal mission, your goal is to exterminate humans on the planet Earth. You'll use many melee and range weapons to maim and kill humans, who scream in pain and often spray red blood and limbs.
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What's it about?
BUTCHER is a fast-paced 2D shooter that tells of a cyborg programmed to eradicate the last remains of humanity on Earth. Using whatever weapon you have available to you (and the environment, including lava, spikes, and piranhas), your goal is to eradicate as many humans as possible. With all kinds of guns, grenades, flamethrowers, and saws, you must kill swiftly and creatively, across multiple indoor and outdoor environments, over more than 20 levels.
Is it any good?
This side-scrolling action title is great for its retro visuals, but its overt violence toward people limits its widespread appeal. Butcher is fun and tough, with the kitschy graphics and over-the-top violence drawing gamers looking for unadulterated, visceral, fast action. It's not for everyone; the focus on mindless violence and constant dismemberment not only keeps this squarely for adults, it becomes a bit overwhelming at times. But the frenetic combat, platforming elements, and diverse levels and enemies make this a memorable arcade shooter. Players are encouraged to explore these two-dimensional levels to best tackle your task at hand (which is tied to staying alive as long as you can and killing every human you come across). Along the way, you may have to spend time finding elevators, accessing locked rooms, getting stat upgrades, and more. Part of the fun is trying to find your way to the end of the level, and you can only do that by roaming above, below, and to the left and right of your 2D levels.
You must also learn about the shortcomings of your weapons to be successful. Chain saws are fun, but you need to be in close proximity to the enemy, which puts you at more risk of suffering damage than ranged attacks. Shooting dudes on jet packs blows them out of the air, but their fiery parts can damage you if they touch you while exploding. Players also have to gauge hiding behind objects to avoid enemy fire, and so on. For mature players who like tough games and frenzied action, and perhaps those with a nostalgic leaning toward 2D shooters of yesterday, Butcher could be a good game for them, if they can also tolerate the mindless destruction.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the premise abhorrent, or should the action not be taken out of context? Is the blood and gore too much, or do the game’s pixelated graphics make the violence tame?
Talk about challenge. Why do you think challenging games are fun? Are there reasons why players like games that are punishing?
- Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
- Price: $9.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Transhuman Design
- Release date: November 15, 2016
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots, Space and Aliens, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
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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.