A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is rated "Teen" more for the scary content than for its violence. Calling has disturbing imagery including weird-looking dolls, mysterious girls with long black hair, dark environments, apparitions, and so on. The violence takes the form of fighting off ghosts, but there is no gore. This game is fine for teens who like horror films.
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What's it about?
Consider this Japanese survival horror game a modern, interactive take on the movie The Ring -- but instead of a videotape that kills you after you watch it, CALLING has a website rumored to kill those who visit this all-black site. Only a select few can see something there, a link to something "sinister," and you play as four of these characters fighting for their survival as they hover somewhere between life and death. The game is spread out between multiple creepy locations – abandoned hospitals, schools, and houses, for example -- as you solve puzzles and avoid nasty spirits. Confused? So were we, but we think we've figured out the story in this strange Japanese import.
Is it any good?
Survival horror fans will likely feel this game lacks the atmosphere and action found in the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series. Rather than focusing on combat, much of the gameplay in this slower-paced adventure focuses on using the Wii Remote as a flashlight, cell phone, radio, and other tools to help unlock clues. But if you're patient enough to wade through the character's stories -- each one chronicling how they stumbled upon The Black Page -- you might find the concept interesting. For example, Chiyo Kishibi received a laptop from her grandson following the death of her husband and so the widow visits the site rumored to help those communicate with the deceased. Overall, however, the mediocre Calling is a weekend rental at best -- and only for those who love Japanese horror flicks.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the developers took advantages of the Wii's hardware to create atmosphere and intensity. The console can't deliver high-resolution visuals, so instead the game makers turned the lights off in the game and let players use the Wii Remote like a flashlight. Is this a good compromise given the platform's limitations?
Did this game remind you of going to a horror movie? In what way did it succeed, and in what ways did it fail?
For kids who love horror
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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.