Fenix Rage

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Fenix Rage Game Poster Image
Stylized platformer with hard-earned victories, frustration.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Determination in the face of danger, incredible odds.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Fenix seeks revenge for his hometown rather than approaching his problems more peacefully.

Ease of Play

Easy to learn, but somewhat imprecise controls.

Violence & Scariness

No real violence. When you die, you cartoonishly poof away and reappear instantly at start of level.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fenix Rage is a challenging downloadable action puzzle game carrying on in the tradition of genre hits such as Super Meat Boy. It borrows more heavily from the latter, meaning the levels are small, tightly designed obstacle courses wherein you will perish multiple times before reaching the end, only to do it all again in a new stage. As you wend your way through the game, new mechanics and wrinkles are introduced -- such as the ability to use ice, fire, and teleportation -- to make the simple goal that much harder to achieve. There isn't a lot of violence in the game; when Fenix "dies" by colliding with an enemy or trap, he cartoonishly "poofs" away and reappears at the start of each level.

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What's it about?

In FENIX RAGE, you play as Fenix and act out his titular rage as he tracks down his arch-nemesis, who burned his village to the ground. Bosses pop up at the end of every world, requiring players to demonstrate a mastery of the mechanics being introduced in the levels leading up to them. It’s all standard video game stuff -- new challenge is injected into the overall flow when Fenix must harness new elements in later stages, such as touching fire to bust through blocks of ice -- but the feel overall largely remains the same. A back-to-basics outing.

Is it any good?

Fenix Rage is very, very competent at what it does but isn't that satisfying because it so easily invites comparisons to other games in the genre that simply do it better. That sounds very harsh, but, although this tries to continue in the tradition of Super Meat Boy (with an emphasis on environmental challenges), this feels less inventive or lovingly crafted. The controls will frequently be the cause of your deaths in the game. For example, it doesn’t matter whether you tap or hold down your jump button; you'll do an enormous leap that you’ll just have to adjust to, although these inaccurate jumps will repeatedly force you to start a level over and over. Additional difficulty is included if you choose to dart for the bonus cookie in each stage, though the only way to progress is by reaching the glowing blue box unscathed. As you get deeper into the game, this gets a bit more challenging, since you must pay close attention to differently colored teleportation beacons to zap about the stage or sprint while harnessing flames to smash icy blocks.

But overall the levels feel uninspired. You'll see the same handful of green blobby enemies over and over throughout the game, and on some levels they're positively swarming. Anyone looking for an out-and-out challenge won’t mind, but there's something to be said for dishing out a diversity of challenges and opponents. That said, if you can look the other way on these shortcomings, you can eke out some enjoyment with what’s here. There certainly are a lot of levels in the nine worlds, but it’s tough not to wish for much more going on in all of them, even if there are more than 200 stages.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about determination. How do you handle the things that frustrate you, and how can you tell when it may be time to assess different approaches to problems?

  • Discuss the role luck plays in your day-to-day life. How can you recognize when something unintentionally beneficial happens, and why should you admit that the things you do have consequences you might not initially realize?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love puzzles

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