A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Despite overwhelming odds, main character is persistent and focused on solving the case that he's been hired to figure out.
Positive Role Models
Main character continues to do his job despite adversity he faces. While his persistence is notable, he's also an alcoholic who frequently breaks the law to get what he wants.
Ease of Play
Gameplay is easy to learn, and the problems you have to solve are never that tough.
Violence & Scariness
Disturbing images of blood, gore, torture. Not all violence is committed by people; some is done by monsters or otherworldly creatures. While players do have a gun and can shoot characters, this isn't a shooter; players have limited moments where this is an option during play.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sounds of people having sex are overheard, but nothing is ever seen during play.
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"F--k" is occasionally used in dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
Game may prompt players to read H.P. Lovecraft stories, including the one the game is based on.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A number of characters are shown drinking in a bar, and player is often shown drinking and complaining about his alcoholism. You also find drugs in a drawer and will have separate conversations about their effects.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Call of Cthulhu is a scary first-person adventure game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. Based on the occult horror story by H.P. Lovecraft, and the pen and paper adventure game of the same name, this scary adventure game has disturbing imagery and tons of blood and gore, although not all of the violence is caused by human hands -- some comes from monstrous beings. There's also some gunplay, such as when you shoot a man who's shooting other people, but apart from limited sequences, this isn't a shooter -- it's a mystery adventure. The dialogue includes a "f--k" or two, as well as a scene in which drugs are located and discussed, though not used. More present is the significant use of alcohol by both our hero, who's an alcoholic, and other characters. Playing this game may prompt players to read the titular story, or others by Lovecraft, most of which are disturbing.
Is It Any Good?
Based on H.P. Lovecraft's classic 1926 occult story, this adventure game is really scary, but it develops the chills in a very slow, plodding way that will appeal only to horror fans. In Call of Cthulhu, you're a hard-boiled detective in 1924 who travels to a mysterious island near Boston to investigate the death of a family. The cause may or may not be the fault of the mother, an accomplished painter who either has mental problems or psychic abilities. As you talk to the locals, examine their surroundings, and solve situational problems that give you access to other areas and other people, you slowly uncover what may have happened, even if the explanation strains what you know about the natural world.
While this game is as freaky and scary as the short story that inspired it, you have to be in the right frame of mind for it. And not just the mood to be scared. The game can be slow and plodding, and there's little in the way of reflex-testing action or seriously complex problem-solving. Even when you reconstruct crimes committed by the many different characters you stumble across, it's a simple process, and often just requires you to find missing items instead of putting them together in a puzzle-esque way. What Call of Cthulhu lacks in finger-flexing action, though, it more than makes up for in atmosphere, and in tests of your observational skills. All versions of the game manage to evoke these spooky surroundings, although the Switch version may have muddier textures and visuals apart from the pre-made cutscenes that suddenly pop into view due to its less powerful hardware. But on the up side, there's virtually no other technical issues, letting you dive into the creepy environments at your own pace. As a result, if you're in the mood for something slow and scary, Call of Cthulhu will really make you feel like you've walked into the twisted mind of H.P. Lovecraft.
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