A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
CRAWL really has no story. It's meant to hearken back to old-school arcade games or even console games such as Gauntlet, where a band of adventurers set out across the land and into dungeons hoping to survive. The twist in Crawl, though, is you know you won't. You know when you die sooner or later you'll get another chance to be the human hero, though you don't know whether you'll be the one to vanquish the end boss of each area and thus secure your humanity.
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).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is one of the most violent acts imaginable OK in a playful context? Certainly you've heard about people being upset about violent video games; what do you think? When is violence OK, and when is it not? Why?
Is it more fun to play games like this against humans you know than artificial intelligence bots taking on those same roles? What about playing against humans you know versus strangers online? Why?
- Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Powerhoof
- Release date: April 11, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Partial Nudity, Violence, Crude Humor
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.