Scary but ultimately disappointing survival horror game.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The overriding message here is that one oughtn't entangle oneself in the occult. Beyond this obvious bit of advice, players may take away the more useful idea that it's usually better to run from and escape danger than turn and fight.

Positive role models

Sarah -- the game's only character aside from the ghostly witch chasing her and a man on her phone providing guidance -- gives voice to little more than the occasional exclamation of fear. However, she is a non-sexualized female protagonist who solves puzzles and wisely turns and runs whenever she senses she's in danger.

Ease of play

Multiple difficulty levels allow players to customize the degree of challenge. The easiest of these difficulties should let most players get through the game with only a handful of deaths. That said, the randomly generated mazes of rooms and corridors often look alike, making it easy to get turned around and lost.


The player's character doesn't fight, and if she gets overwhelmed by the ghostly witch chasing her the screen simply goes dark and the message "Death…the great equalizer" appears in red letters. However, a combination of creepy sounds and spooky visuals create a very chilling experience. And while no violence takes place on screen, dozens of notes found scattered around the environment describe acts of torture, self mutilation, and mass deaths. 

Not applicable

The lead character utters the word "f-----g" a couple of times 

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Daylight is a survival horror game with no onscreen fighting or violence, but plenty of sincere scares and a bit of strong language, including a couple of F-bombs. Players will also discover notes describing grisly scenes of torture, murder, and more as they take on the role of a young woman, Sarah, attempting to escape the shadowy corridors of a long-abandoned medical facility haunted by a ghostly witch. Sarah doesn't say much and never tries to battle her pursuer, but she appears capable and courageous, even while running from danger. 

Kids say

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What's it about?

A young woman named Sarah wakes in an abandoned medical facility alone and with no memory in DAYLIGHT, a downloadable game for Windows PC and PlayStation 4. Armed only with her phone -- which she uses as both map and flashlight -- and a limited supply of glow sticks and flares, she begins exploring the old, dark, maze-like building in which she finds herself, which has a 150-year history serving as everything from a hospital and asylum to a psychiatric penitentiary. Her only companion is a mysterious voice that occasionally emanates from her phone, telling her to look for magical symbols and old notes left by the institution's staff that describe strange and terrible events. Before long, Sarah also begins seeing a mysterious woman floating in the hallway, drifting toward her. When this happens she can light a flare to scare her away. If she has no flares, her only remaining option is to run.

Is it any good?


Daylight begins with an intriguing premise -- a woman exploring a mysterious old hospital who prudently runs from danger instead of facing and fighting it -- that results in some legitimate chills. Its creepy audio effects and the sudden, unexplained movement of objects around the environment are enough to make even seasoned horror gamers want to turn on the lights and check behind the couch.

Unfortunately, it quickly and steadily descends into repetition and predictability. The hospital's mazes of halls and rooms are randomly generated, and, consequently, end up pretty generic and unmemorable. And each of the game's chapters plays out in almost exactly the same way: Search for a magical gate and key, picking up any notes you happen upon along the way while dodging the witch whenever she shows up. It's short -- three hours at most -- but most players will be ready for it to end long before reaching its final, deeply clichéd act.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about games that eschew combat to focus instead on other forms of action and suspense. Daylight is about spooky exploration and has no fighting. What other games have you played that kept you glued to the screen without resorting to battles? 

  • Families can also discuss what they thought of the game's lead character, Sarah. Is she a strong protagonist? Is there any way the game's creators could have fleshed her out a little more? Did it matter that she was female?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 4, Windows
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Available online
Release date:May 1, 2014
Genre:Survival Horror
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:M for Violence, Strong Language (PlayStation 4, Windows)

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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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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bythe cynic al June 10, 2014

this game is a 1 out of 5 it sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Parent Written byMeta-Critic July 28, 2014

I have played this survival horror game. It was very bad.

If kids want to play go right ahead


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