Child of Light Game Poster Image

Child of Light

(i)

 

Original, accessible, fun RPG stars lots of strong females.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The female-centric story is largely about helping people and standing up against evil on behalf of those who cannot do it themselves. Characters make virtues of empathy and forgiveness, and the heroes' actions repeatedly suggest that the greater good should outweigh individual need.

Positive role models

Aurora is a strong, smart, capable girl. She's devoted to her family, loyal to her friends, and willing to sacrifice herself to save others, if need be. She's perhaps a little overeager to jump into battle, but she's also highly adept at coming up with solutions to problems and talking through situations with those willing to listen to her.

Ease of play

Two levels of difficulty provide challenge options suitable for both RPG rookies and genre veterans. Younger, less-experienced players can assist more skilled players by controlling a firefly that doesn't engage directly with the enemy in battle, but instead serves as a co-operative helper.

Violence

Human and humanoid characters fight a variety of fantastical and human enemies in turn-based combat using swords, bows and arrows, and magical spells. Characters typically leap into the air to deliver attacks, then jump back to their original place. Damage is represented by flashes of light and staggering movements. There is no blood or gore; enemies simply fall and disappear when defeated. 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A character in what appears to be a pub is seen smoking and enjoying a pipe, with fumes spreading outward from the tobacco bowl.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Child of Light is a turn-based role-playing game with a cast composed mostly of strong female characters, including a young princess, her friends, and several female villains. The heroines are clever, caring, resourceful, and independent, and none of them are sexualized. In battle they and their male companions wield swords and magic, but there's no gore or sensational violence. Damage to enemies both human and fantastical is depicted via flashes of light, and defeated foes simply fall to the ground and disappear. The ESRB rates this game for ages ten and up due to fantasy violence, but it's relatively mild. You might consider letting slightly younger kids play.

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What's it about?

An adolescent 19th century European princess finds herself whisked away to the fantastical land of Lemuria in Ubisoft Montreal's downloadable RPG CHILD OF LIGHT. The new world in which she finds herself -- two-dimensional and hand-painted -- is beautiful and mysterious, and filled with bizarre creatures. Some of its inhabitants are friendly, and several even join her on her journey. Others are entities of darkness, and move to attack at first glance. Armed only with her courage and a sword she finds embedded in a stone, the princess tries to make her way back to her world, solving puzzles, finding treasures, and engaging in plenty of turn-based battles along the way. Then, just when it seems she's about to complete her quest, things take an unexpected and dreadful turn that leaves her more lost and alone -- yet even more resolute -- than ever before.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Set in front of a gorgeous backdrop of living paintings and starring a cast filled with smart and independent female characters both good and evil, Child of Light is an original and daring role-playing game. It challenges many accepted notions associated with role-playing games -- not least of which is its dialogue, which is presented in poetic verse. Yet at the same time it pays homage to RPGs of decades past, delivering a compelling active-time turn-based battle system, rewarding character growth, lots of hidden treasure chests to open, and even a bit of gemstone crafting to upgrade characters' stats and abilities.

Plus, it's accessible to a broad range of players. Despite the predominantly female cast, there's nothing here that ought to turn off boys. And with a couple of well-constructed difficultly levels and storytelling that keeps things simple without dumbing anything down, it's that rare game that can be appreciated by players young and old. Indeed, the best way to play may be with an older player controlling Aurora and her party and a younger one in charge of the delightful little firefly that zips around the world and battlefield, helping by distracting enemies and picking up bits of energy floating in the air. Regardless of how you play, though, there's little doubt Child of Light is one of the best family-friendly downloadable games of the year.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how girls and women are depicted in games. In your experience, what stereotypes do female characters tend to suffer? Do you think Aurora and her friends conform to any of these stereotypes?

  • Families can also discuss art in games. Child of Light has an imaginative style that feels almost like a painting come to life. Would you have preferred something that looked more as though it were generated by a computer, as in most other games? Why or why not?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Subjects:Language & Reading: reading
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: solving puzzles, strategy
Emotional Development: empathy, persevering
Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Price:$19.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Available online
Developer:UbiSoft
Release date:April 29, 2014
Genre:Role Playing
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Great girl role models
ESRB rating:E10+ for Fantasy Violence

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Teen, 17 years old Written by_____________ October 14, 2015
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use

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