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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Felix the Reaper is a downloadable puzzle game for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC. As a reaper in training, you have to solve a puzzle so you can set someone's death in motion. These deaths come in a variety of ways, and often results in bloodshed and even decapitation. One character's shown drinking until he's intoxicated, though we're never told what he's drinking. There's also a static image of a woman in a bikini. As a dancer, Felix does occasionally shake his rump, but it's more playful than titillating.
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What's it about?
In FELIX THE REAPER, you're a reaper in training, one who likes to dance and is hoping to run into his lady love. With help from his instructor (voiced by Sir Patrick Stewart), you have to set things in motion so you can move people into position and die in the way they're supposed to. To do this, you have to navigate a board, standing only in the shaded spots to interact with the world. Fortunately, you can pick things up and shift the position of the board you're on so that the shadows move, giving you access to different tiles on the board so you can conduct your reaping.
Is it any good?
While this is a very clever puzzle game, it's also such a tough one that it can be more frustrating than fun. In Felix the Reaper, our hero is training to be a reaper. Except the job doesn't just require him to show up, tap the recently deceased on the shoulder with his bony finger, and fly away. No, his job is to set certain things in motion that will result in the victim being in the right place at the right time so they'll die in the prescribed way. Like, say, moving someone into just the right spot so a spear will pierce their heart. To do this, Felix has to move around a board, moving objects into place. Except Felix can't stand the sun, so he can only walk on tiles that are shaded. It's a good thing he can shift the position of the sun to change which blocks are shaded, and thus walkable.
The result is a rather inventive and enticing puzzle game. That's especially true since Felix likes to dance, and is constantly shaking his money maker. It's just too bad it's so dang hard. Unlike many puzzle games, this doesn't start you out with super easy levels. Instead, it drops you in the deep end once you get past a short training puzzle. Granted, you can get hints when you need to know what to do next, or what your ultimate goal is, but they're not always clear and don't always make things easier. That said, if you are looking for a real brain teaser, it has that in spades; you can even replay levels with added difficulty or while racing against the clock. Either way, playing Felix the Reaper is clever, challenging, and funky...but it just might kill you with its difficulty.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Felix the Reaper affected by the artistic visuals, which show graphic or gory scenes without the realistic detail? Do you think this game would be as much fun if their demise wasn't shown but maybe implied?
Felix the Reaper involves the main character dancing through the whole game, but do you like to dance? Would you "dance like no one's watching" through everything you do?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $24.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Daedalic GmbH
- Release date: October 17, 2019
- Genre: Puzzle
- Topics: Adventures
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
- Last updated: February 26, 2020
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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.