A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Cosmochoria is a downloadable adventure game about jet-packing around the galaxy, planting seeds to restore and revive dead planets, and shooting aliens intent on stopping you in your tracks. It's also very, very challenging at first and for quite a while, notwithstanding its vivid colors and storybook aesthetics. That said, this game is absolutely appropriate and safe for children -- just know they might be frustrated for a bit depending on skill level and individual tenacity.
What's it about?
COSMOCHORIA doesn't make this plot point apparent until you get far into the game (and have died a bunch, scooping up shinies to level up afterward), but a cataclysm destroyed all life in the galaxy long, long ago. As you wander 50 lifeless planets and revive them, some holograms reveal to you that the cataclysm was actually brought about by a group of tinkering scientists trying to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Things clearly backfired. But you'll only piece that together over the course of the game -- and get a few other surprises.
Is it any good?
You hear words such as "addictive" thrown about pretty handily in the gaming world, but Cosmochoria is something a bit more special. It's challenging and confusing, and the difficulty will creep up on you like an old arcade game, all of which is good. It's good that it's hard, because the mix of cutesy graphics with the challenge is unusual, but it's never so punishingly hard it seems impossible. It encourages you to keep trying, keep playing, and keep leveling up. After a while, so much more of the game opens up, making the dying galaxy seem more inviting and full of possibilities rather than a crushing deathscape.
Kids likely will be entertained by Cosmochoria for those very same reasons, even if they ignore the story. The shooting and strategy involved in planting crops on planets, then deciding what to do with the harvest, is deep enough to keep players thinking and twitching along to the next planet and the next degree up on the difficulty. This is a fun and surprisingly complex game.
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