A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While generally light on story, your character's main motivation for reactivating the facility and driving back the Creature is to help provide shelter and power for those suffering from the effects of a massive sandstorm.
Positive Role Models
Your BOT-C isn't simply fighting to survive. It's also fighting for the survival of others.
Ease of Play
Although the gameplay mechanics are easy to pick up and play, it quickly becomes insanely difficult. Timing and aim are everything. Precision gets much more difficult with the frantic action onscreen.
Violence & Scariness
Players use their weapons to catch, charge, and hit energy balls into bumpers, walls, and other targets. There are a few enemies, such as drones, to defend yourself against by hitting a ball into them, but they are small mechanical items than break apart on impact.
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Minor language, such as the word "damned," pop up rarely in dialogue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Creature in the Well is a sci-fi action fantasy game available for download on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. Players take on the role of a robotic engineer attempting to restart an abandoned facility that's been taken over by a massive, shadowy creature. Players make progress by hitting balls of energy into targets to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. Gamers can fall victim to various traps set throughout the facility, but they simply restart at the entrance of a level when they fail. The only other violence involves hitting the energy balls into drones or other enemies attempting to stop BOT-C's progress. The word "damned" pops up rarely in dialogue, but otherwise, there's no inappropriate content in the game.
Is It Any Good?
What would happen if you tossed together two-parts sci-fi dungeon crawler with one-part pinball machine, and topped it off with a bit of racquetball for flavor? As strange as that mix sounds, it's the best way to describe Creature in the Well. Far from a traditional dungeon crawler by any stretch, the game genuinely feels like it sticks you in some surreal labyrinth designed by someone that watched Star Wars one too many times with The Who's Tommy album playing in the background. It's a trippy experience unlike just about anything else, and yet somehow it works beautifully.
The game's visual style looks like someone breathed life into a comic book. Its combination of neon glow set against the depths of the abandoned subterranean facility strikes just the right balance of dungeon grunge and sci-fi sleek. Gameplay is deceptively simple to pick up and play, with responsive and fluid controls. But that doesn't mean the game is easy to play. Make no mistake about it -- to say Creature in the Well is tough is an understatement. The game's difficulty starts off easy enough, but quickly ramps up to almost frustrating proportions. Timing, aim, and even a little bit of luck all have to align just right to finish the adventure. But more important than all of these is the ability to think strategically, to figure out how and where to best place your shots. And though it's easy to want to give up on some of the harder parts of the game, that's usually right about the time you come up with the right solution and find yourself even more eager for the challenges ahead.
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.