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Crying Suns

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Crying Suns Game Poster Image
Decent space action gets lost with limited instructions.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

There are no overt positive messages, although the game does allow players to make choices that can avoid combat. Still, there's no real diplomatic element here. This is space, and it's unforgiving and hostile. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players do have the ability to determine their course, but sooner or later, combat can't be avoided. 

Ease of Play

There's not a lot of direction in Crying Suns and players will have to figure their way around the exploration and combat scenarios. This isn't too hard if you've had experience with the genre before, but isn't easy for younger players new to this type of game. The interface is simple enough to navigate once you're used to it.

Violence

Violence is against ships with explosions caused by fighter squadrons. No blood or gore's shown.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Crying Suns is a space action game for Windows PCs. The game centers around players trying to explore space, fighting battles and discovering the secrets of a fallen empire. Action in the game's heavy on combat, but it contains mild violence due to fights only occurring between ships, without any blood or gore being shown. Players new to the space strategy genre may find themselves a bit confused or frustrated by the lack of directions or tutorials in the game. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.

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What's it about?

CRYING SUNS is a space action game for Windows PCs. In it, Commander Ellys Idaho is awakened to find out he's a clone of his former self. Why was he brought back? It seems the Galactic Empire, once populated by both man and machine, but recently controlled by OMNIs (machines that run everything), has been shattered and OMNIs have blinked out. Of course, that means that the OMNI on board his ship needs human help. This game plays similar to a rogue-like (randomly generated dungeon crawl style of game) in space with a galaxy to explore, battles to fight, and decisions to make. Death happens, as does re-cloning of Ellys whenever he fails in any one of more than 300 story events. Of course, the whole goal is to find out what happened to the Empire and to try to bring some form of it back.

Is it any good?

While the story's solid, this space action game tends to remove the rogue-like experience and choices in favor of devolving into combat, making it not as interesting as it could've been. That's not to say that combat in Crying Suns is a bad thing. There are some tactical elements to it, and you can pause at any time to consider which move to make in a fight. Weapons and fighter squadrons, once expended, have reset times, so pacing your attacks is vital. You can throw all your fighter squadrons at the enemy, or fire off your onboard weapons, but should you fail to defeat the enemy in that massive outburst, you may be in deep trouble. Still, the combat's fast paced and the mechanics of combat aren't very complex. But where it falters is the lack of variety in battles -- enemies may get a bit harder, but they're essentially the same opponent from start to finish.

Gameplay's also a bit of a bumpy ride at times. While the story's good, there's no real way to ease into the action because there's no tutorial or help text available. Plus, the story moments are randomly generated, but the constant focus on combat instead of diplomacy makes the gameplay feel somewhat repetitive from session to session. Still, the game has good points, from the ability to make story-based choices to exploring and upgrading your ship in preparation for the battles ahead. At least the visuals are intriguing. Initially, the game looks like a retro pixelated adventure, but that changes with combat, where ships are shown fighting and exploding in sharp 3D modeled vessels. Overall though, Crying Suns is one of those games that promised a lot of action, but its lack of instruction and repetitive play makes it lost in space.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how a story affects a game. Does the story matter? What makes for a good story? How should gameplay and the story connect?

  • How important is science to everyday life? What are some of the examples where science is being used, even if we're not aware we're using it?

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