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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fe is an adventure game with a strong focus on exploration, platforming, and music and melody. There isn't any combat or other inappropriate content to be concerned about, although presumably your character could die if it misses a jump and falls. It's simple to pick up but gets challenging at times in some areas. This single-player adventure is relatively short: It's about three hours to complete the main story.
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What's it about?
FE is a 3D adventure game where you play as Fe, a small fox-like cub who awakens in a big forest and must venture out to discover the world. In doing so, you'll run, jump, climb, dig, and soar between trees and ledges, collect items (like crystals) to unlock new abilities, and interact with friendly (and some not-so-friendly) mystical creatures -- mostly by creating melodies together. You'll press the gamepad trigger to sing louder, and then strike the right note to communicate with the different species around you. After you match your songs to the speech of your allies and learn new languages as you travel, you can also summon a friendly bird, learn what to do next, and then follow it as it flutters toward your next objective. In this single-player game, you'll complete main objectives and side quests, find hidden areas, and try to help free forest inhabitants from the wrath of the Silent Ones, the robot-like enemies that threaten this world.
Is it any good?
While this nonviolent adventure is visually engaging, its repetition, short gameplay, and lack of content limits the environmental tale's appeal. On one hand, Fe is a charming indie game, thanks in part to its beautiful visuals and music, and its nonviolent adventure gameplay encourages exploration. The open world is fun to navigate, especially climbing and hopping between trees, and matching your melodies with the unique creatures you meet feels gratifying. While the in-game movement can be challenging at times, forcing you to redo sections if you perish, the controls feel tight and responsive.
But on the other hand, Fe's game mechanics get a little tiring after a short while, with the game ending in a couple of hours (though there are optional side quests you can complete). You can pick up pink shards to unlock a couple of new moves, like gliding, but it's not nearly enough to expand on the gameplay. Also, while gorgeous, the environments don't vary much between the different areas. There are some memorable scenes -- like stealthily sneaking around patrolling machines in one area to find and release trapped deer -- but there aren't enough of those striking moments between the tasks you perform. Much of the gameplay is the same: Save some hapless animals, learn their call, and then use that call to turn flowers to help move you on to the next section. For under $20, Fe is a good -- but not great -- pick for adventure fans. If it offered more variety and longevity, perhaps it would score higher.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is Fe a better game because it doesn't include combat? Would the gameplay be stronger if it did have violence?
Discuss the power of music to bring people together. In Fe, your character uses music to connect to other creatures -- does this seem realistic? Is there a way to share common bonds through songs?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: February 16, 2018
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Music and Sing-Along, Robots, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Fantasy Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.