Parents' Guide to

Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Dated disaster game has a strong focus on moral choice.

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If a natural disaster struck unexpectedly, how would you react to it, and more importantly, what type of person would you be? Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories asks players these questions, injecting more of the human element into the standard survival adventure. Players constantly face decisions that risk their lives and test their morality. Do you take a chance to search a nearby building for much needed supplies, even though it could collapse at any moment and bury you in rubble? Do you force another survivor to pay you for your help? The game pushes boundaries here too, including offering more lewd options such as using the tragedy to hit on other characters. It's left to players to decide the type of person they want to be, and choices made in the moment can have consequences later on down the road. It's shocking sometimes to see just how cold and slimy the player can be in a time of crisis. Thankfully, it's just as easy to swing the moral pendulum in the other direction to be a more humane, sympathetic character.

Disaster Report 4 has had a rough road getting to audiences, having originally started development almost a decade ago. Unfortunately, this shows in the gameplay. The presentation lacks a lot of detail in the environments and animations. The controls are clunky, with players moving around awkwardly from place to place. This gets even more frustrating when pieces of wrecked buildings fall and there's no way to escape the debris, causing instant death for the player. Finally, while the game does a solid job of incorporating all types of personalities into the stories, the plot is paper thin and disconnected from the harsh reality of the situation. Some characters even stand around acting like it's just another normal day as the city falls apart around them. Despite this, Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories still works as a great springboard for audiences to start real discussions about how they would react in a real-world disaster situation.

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