Parents' Guide to

Children of Morta

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Fun retro tale with fantasy combat, strong family themes.

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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Retro style dungeon crawler has smooth execution and pace. 2 player couch co-op.

Multiple retro "pixel art" games that throw back to the 16 bit era graphically are many times an ugly eye sore, not very compelling, too simple and repative or all of the above. Seemingly an excuse to make a cheap game with a low budget with the glaring problems. NOT SO HERE. If anyone remembers the Prince of Persia on PC, it was pixelated, but with realistic motion and engaging gameplay. Mix that with a classic Dungeons And Dragons theme with a literal storybook narrative and you have this. At first the learning curve seems a bit steep, but the mechanics of the gameplay show you the ropes little by little and you catch on a a bit more with each try. So you never hit a wall you can't level up past or accomplish so you don't beat your head against the wall. There CAN be a grind to get your character leveled, but each stab at any particular dungeon is randomly generated, and not in a cheap way, so that each run feels different with new challenges and puzzles to uncover. I never realized this until the third time and it makes each try more compelling instead of repetative and annoying. Within a few hours I unlocked several new abilities and became familiar enough that I was plowing through enemies "like a boss" where I had once felt intimidated. You can unlock new missions and characters by yourself or with local co-op, meaning you are not limited to 'online only' players and can just sit with a friend on the same console with an extra controller (very rare any more). No lie though, the buttons and what they do for trinkets, abilities and so forth take some time to get aquainted, but the game runs so smooth and the combat is deep enough that you'll WANT to take a few moments to get to know your layout, which is also customizable to change the buttons and what they do if you so desire. I have NEVER recommended a pixel art game before and have not recommended a true local co-op game of this ilk since Castle Crashers. Honestly, the game is downright beautiful at times and superbly animated. But if any of the above sounds compelling, look into this one for sure because I think it's a rare find, and to get my wife to drop her slow paced puzzle phone game to play an action RPG is almost impossible. Seriously.... I just may have to grind out her character a bit, but I'm fine with that. This is truly an 'easy to pick up' game that has depth if you want it. This game reminds me of the best Fantasy movie elements of the 80s and 90s movies, LOTR, Prince of Persia, Gauntlet and much of the best things of each rolled into one place. I'm loving it in so many ways. Only reason it's not a 5 star review is that this game does NOT have a difficulty setting and may be too frustrating for kids making this a take it or leave it scenario for entry and the boss fights can be often ABRUPT difficulty spikes making you have to retread dungeons again, even if they are different with each run through.

This title has:

Easy to play/use

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

From its beautifully retro visual style to its surprisingly affecting family-focused story, this dungeon crawler delights in all the right ways. Children of Morta lays a familiar and firm foundation shared by other similar games, providing players an endless series of unique dungeons to explore while spicing up each run with randomly found, limited use abilities. The combat's simple yet challenging, with each member of the Bergson clan specializing in their own type of fighting -- ranged, melee, etc. -- so players can choose a hero with a fighting style that suits the way they like to play. But rather than using a traditional looting system that forces players to sort through mounds of weapons and gear, character growth is focused on a mix of upgrades purchased with skill points and currency, some of which improve stats for the whole family while others are character specific. It makes for a streamlined experience that keeps us moving rather than clicking around menus.

On top of this finely tuned action, players are treated to a terrific story written with poetic flare and emotion, and related by a baritone narrator who delivers each line with passion and conviction. We get to know each member of the Bergson family intimately, understanding their hopes, their fears, and the pride they share in their duty to protect the world from the corruption. The only hitch in the experience is the difficulty. This is a game designed to make players fail and start over -- repeatedly. It's not so cruel as to strip us of the experience or money we've collected or the objectives we've achieved, and the fact that dungeons are reconfigured each time you enter them keeps things from getting too repetitive. Still, players conditioned by other games to expect an easier go of it might get a bit frustrated having to restart locations over and over again from scratch. That said, if you're not scared away by a challenge, Children of Morta will provide a bounty of retro dungeon crawling fun.

Game Details

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