A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
It's kill or be killed to retain your humanity. Even characters admit nobody's acting with nobility.
Positive Role Models
Entire game is monsters, people egging each other on to kill one another.
Ease of Play
Simple controls; easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of cartoonish gore. Pixelated graphics limit impact of violence.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Crawl is a downloadable, competitive local multiplayer brawler. Up to four players or bots fight one another as they progress through randomly generated dungeons. Violence is constant, but the pixelated graphics limit the impact on players.
Is It Any Good?
This action game might seem simple, but the fast-paced action will keep you and your friends playing round after round for a long time. Although the game is exceedingly straightforward, there's a great tutorial to teach you the basics (how special moves work, how ghosts can possess traps and summon monsters). From there, you're off to the races maybe a minute or two after you've started and are enjoying the madcap goofy fun of the game. With only two buttons you need to worry about, the game never gets complicated or confusing. But it does remain hectic -- in a good way.
It's hard to find fault with Crawl, as the game has wisely kept its scope and ambitions in check. Which isn't at all to imply it's a simplistic or mindless game -- it's just that it does what it wants to do very well and knows better than to add any fat. With each session typically lasting 30 or 40 minutes, it's the perfect game to scratch an itch and (if you so choose) sink an afternoon or evening on. It's like good playground fun, played indoors and with your friends (or bots, if you so choose).
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.