Parents' Guide to

Fable: The Journey

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Fun fantasy actioner marred by troublesome motion controls.

Game Xbox 360 2012
Fable: The Journey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

Gender neutral fun; sensitive animal lovers may love the game but may struggle.

Both boys and girls, especially animal lovers, will enjoy this game (see below about sensitive animal lovers.) You spend a good deal of time interacting with the horse (more jaded players might be annoyed by this) and though the main character is a boy, he's following the direction and story of a woman. Even considering that you play the game sitting, it can be a real workout - I've been playing, myself, and am finding myself stiff and sore after a session of outrunning and outgunning Hobbes (little gnome-like creatures.) There is plenty of action, intrigue, and puzzles that prevent this game from becoming Kinectimals. The game does foster cooperation and caring; the hero reluctantly agrees to take on magic to save his horse, but decides to follow on with the quest after he sees how other people are affected by the evil he fights. Violence is fairly low-key (although the bugs do explode when they squish) but the "boss" creatures can be frightening. Most importantly, the horse takes the brunt of your mistakes, and you watch the horse die if you fail in a horse-cart-based challenge. In fact, the horse screaming in pain can be a serious issue if you have a sensitive child, although your character has the power to heal. Removing arrows and splinters from the horse, for instance, can take some perseverance and patience; you sometimes have to try several times, and the horse cries out when you fail. However, you do get time to "bond" with the horse; it heals completely and shows appreciation, and every time it "dies" you simply restart the level. Note: Glitchy controls can be addressed two ways: one, by recalibrating, and two, by sitting against a contrasting background (we drape a white sheet over the chair.)

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Fable: The Journey is a deliberate attempt to deliver a Kinect experience that would appeal to so-called "core" gamers -- folks who tend to prefer traditional controller-based games. It succeeds in some ways. The story, for example, is well crafted and compelling. You'll care about the characters and their fates. Plus, the action sequences have a thrilling, frenetic quality typically lacking in simpler motion-control games. It can be an engaging experience when the game is firing on all cylinders.

Sadly, though, the motion and voice controls often don't meet core gamers' stiff demands. This is a game designed from the ground up to be playable from a sitting position (it's the sort of game best consumed in hour-plus sessions), yet we experienced frustrating problems with accuracy when spell-casting and proper movement detection when tending to the horse's reins. The result is a game that tends to become aggravating right at its most compelling moments. It may be worthwhile for Kinect devotees, but its intended audience of traditional gamers will likely be left cold.

Game Details

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