Parents' Guide to


By Angelica Guarino, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Forgettable stories hamper innovative puzzle design.

Carto Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 2+


so boring i stopped playing after 5 minutes.
age 18+

Not child friendly

It’s not child friendly,it’s a waste of money Terrible

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

On paper, there’s seemingly no way this puzzler could go wrong, but the weak story limits the clever gameplay significantly. Carto has everything -- an adorable young heroine, a unique puzzle mechanic, an array of wacky, lovable NPCs, and beautifully hand-drawn environments to explore. But despite hitting all of those marks, the designers seemed to miss one small thing -- the expert scriptwriting necessary for pulling these elements together. For example, the game chooses not to answer important story questions, such as why the traditional coming-of-age ceremony on the first island exists. This thread continues throughout the stories of the next islands, leaving these plot points to fall flat. In some scenes, the dialogue feels like it’s solely filling empty space instead of deepening themes or teaching lessons.

To further this point, it's worth mentioning that Carto herself only speaks in emojis or smiley-faces. Nothing's known about her aside from her desire to return home, preventing any connection with her by the player. Additionally, you're never given enough time to bond with anyone else either. As soon as players feel invested in the chronicles of a sleepy little boy named Mo and his evasive flock of sheep or the side quest of a man named Ganga and his search for a rare botanical anomaly known as the Ghost Lily, they're whisked away to a completely new setting with totally new lore, which leaves the resolution of each tale unfulfilled and underwhelming. Because the gameplay tasks are always so similar, there isn’t a reason why more time couldn't be given to allow relationships with other characters to evolve and mature. Overall, it’s frustrating that so much went right in this title only for the general feeling left at the conclusion to be indifference. But this isn't to say that Carto isn't worth a try. As long as users enter with appropriate expectations -- for relaxing puzzles rather than a riveting adventure -- players will leave satisfied.

Game Details

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