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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Strong environmental themes run throughout, warning of what could become of plant and human life on Earth as a consequence of severe climate change. Tidbits of information explain the importance of various types of plants, such as bananas and palm trees.
Positive Role Models
The robotic protagonist hasn't any personality, but through the player's actions, it would seem to be dedicated to the task of attempting to find and preserve precious plant life.
Ease of Play
The controls are very straightforward, if a little clunky at times. Puzzles are simple, though it's possible to get turned around in some areas. The robot's deactivation typically results in no lack of progress, so there's little frustration.
Violence & Scariness
The player's robot is occasionally attacked by drones with lasers, causing it to be deactivated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Doomsday Vault is a downloadable puzzle adventure game for Nintendo Switch, Windows PCs, and Mac OS. Starring a little robotic protagonist who quests to save endangered plant life on a future Earth that's been ravaged by extreme climate change, it shows players the potential consequences of inaction to solve the climate crisis. It also drops little dollops of information about the plants that players save, explaining their importance and value to humans and life on Earth. Play's focused on exploration and puzzles, with players encouraged to use a bit of common sense to move crates and flip switches to create paths forward. There's no combat, though in later stages the little hero may be attacked by drones with lasers, causing it to be deactivated if struck a couple of times. The controls and objectives are pretty straightforward, and it's almost impossible to lose progress, so frustration should be kept at a minimum.
Is It Any Good?
Short but cute, and founded on a positive message that may make players think more about climate change, this is a good choice for players that don't need constant action and epic quests. Despite its warning of what climate change could potentially do to the planet, Doomsday Vault is welcoming in its look and feel. The loveable little robot can be customized in all sorts of fun ways, from changing colors and skin patterns to swapping arms, belts, helmets, and backpacks. And the world, though empty of human life, is bright and colorful, with a dreamlike electronic score to keep you company. It's pretty fun, too. The variety of puzzles are such that no one type outstays its welcome. Each new environment brings with it new challenges and abilities, whether that means blowing up rocks and other obstacles to reveal hidden paths and collectibles or figuring out how to transfer some of your robot's energy to power up long-dead machines without running out of power yourself.
The only things keeping Doomsday Vault from really soaring are its shortness and some slightly clunky controls. Skilled players may be able to finish the entire game in just a few hours, though finding every last stash of nutrients in each level will take a little more time, and there's not much in the way of replay value. And while exploration and puzzle solving are pretty straightforward, the controls can be a bit annoying. The world's essentially a grid, with our robot moving between squares. But since it's viewed from an isometric perspective (down and at an angle), it can make using a left/right/up/down-oriented d-pad or even a thumbstick feel a bit awkward. But moments of true aggravation are few and far between. If you're looking for a quick little play with a surprisingly feel-good vibe, you could definitely do worse than Doomsday Vault.
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.