Culpa Innata

 
(i)

 

Thought-provoking game about accountability.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The story line touches on the need for responsible government, making family a priority, and taking care of the environment.

Violence

The player does not engage in killing but the game has some disturbing scenes of violence including bodies hanging from the ceiling and a dead body face-down on the floor, surrounded by a pool of blood.

Sex

While the ESRB warns of "Strong Sexual Content," the developer took out a sex scene in the game. Some minor spoken innuendo remains.

Language

While not pushing the envelope, gamers might hear words such as "s--t," "hell," "damn," and "bastard."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the violence in this game is seen in surreal flashback/dream sequences and it's quite brief. The puzzle and dialogue-based game-play is appropriate for most teenagers. While the ESRB rated the game as having "strong sexual content," after that rating, the publisher, Strategy First, decided to take that content out of the game. The game has some technical instability which requires you to download patches.

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What's it about?

CULPA INNATA is a thought-provoking adventure that takes place 40 years in the future. Comprised of most of Earth's countries, the World Union is labeled as an utopian society, devoid of war, famine, and disease -- until a World Union citizen is murdered in the \"rogue state\" of Russia, curiously coinciding with the accidental death of a prominent professor in Adrianopolis, a strategic border town between the World Union and Russia. You play as a young woman, Phoenix Wallis, a junior Peace and Security Officer assigned to investigate these disturbing events. During the investigation, however, Wallis unravels a more shocking truth about the worldview she has sworn to uphold and protect.

Playing from a third-person perspective, you move Wallis around by clicking the arrow in the direction in which you'd like her to travel. If an object can be interacted with, the mouse cursor will change to a magnifying glass for further inspection. Puzzles she faces might include picking a lock, solving a Rubik's Cube, reinstating power at a facility to hack into a security program, or following a recipe to make glue in order to patch a hole in the wall. At times you'll be asked to combine items in your inventory to create something new. When you meet characters you can talk to, you'll be able to select questions or responses from a list of branching conversation paths, which can affect the outcome of the story.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A minor issue with the game is its technical instability. At the time of this writing, no fewer than three patches (downloadable updates) are available, which fix odd bugs, freezes and crashes. But the fleshed-out story separates "Culpa Innata," which means "original sin," from other computer games of its kind. The Istanbul, Turkey-based developer did a terrific job in providing a fictitious historical timeline leading to the middle of the 21st century, offering plenty of meaningful dialogue, great facial animations, and adding a few "wow" gadgets and special effects to match the futuristic theme. The music is also well done, if not a bit repetitive.

Culpa Innata offers a deep and immersive experience that rewards players for unraveling a complex story, interacting with interesting characters, and solving intelligent puzzles. The game might not single-handedly resurrect the ailing PC adventure genre, but it should serve as a reminder that these once-popular games are still alive and well.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this game's social, political, and environmental messages about taking care of oneself, each other, and our planet. Do you like this type of game which makes players think? Did the plot twists challenge your perception of which side of the world is good and which side is evil? Since deception, corruption, greed, and negligence are what ruin this world, did playing this game make you think about your role in our world?

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$19.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Strategy First
Release date:December 10, 2007
Genre:Adventure
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Language, Strong Sexual Content, Violence (Windows)

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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