Friday the 13th: The Game

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Friday the 13th: The Game Game Poster Image
Bloody, violent slasher series revived in shallow game.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 14 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

In a kill-or-be-killed scenario, encourages violence as a last resort (though, still, always an option), cooperation, communication first and foremost.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Extreme circumstances make reckless behavior understandable, but relationships presented, lack of in-game dialog make it too fuzzy to condone emulating anyone's behavior beyond their basic desire to survive.

Ease of Play

Opens up more options, abilities the more you play, but these perks to make game slightly more customizable are given randomly, won't mean much without logging hours to learn basics through trial, error.

Violence

Veritable clothesline of grisly violence, horrifying scenarios with a serial killer hunting innocent people, murder with lots of blood, gore.

Sex

Some characters are shown in loading screens to be wearing revealing outfits, posed while skinny dipping so as not to expose certain parts of anatomy.

Language

As an exclusively online multiplayer game, expect to hear plenty of frustrated or excited profanities in reaction to the onscreen action.

Consumerism

Based on Friday the 13th movie franchise, which has spawned multiple movies, merchandise, games, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Friday the 13th: The Game, is a downloadable multiplayer based action game. Like the similarly named movies it's based on, it's definitely not intended for younger audiences. Rooted deeply in the general mythology and lore of those old slasher flicks, the survival-action game pits one person (who plays as Jason) against seven hopeful survivors (who play as camp counselors). There's very little story or nuance to the action here, as the game hinges and is centered on providing a cat-and-mouse, hunt-or-be-he-hunted dynamic in an online multiplayer game. The game's best aspects come to life largely by virtue of the spirit of collaboration and communication it indirectly encourages, which isn't to be discounted, but is clouded by the extreme amounts of violence and gore seen when characters are killed in grisly ways.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAustin J. June 8, 2017

Good but quite gruesome

It is a game that is based off one character brutally murdering others which automatically makes this game one that isn't for younger children. The killer... Continue reading
Parent Written byCara A. June 25, 2017

What's it about?

Although FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME is loosely inspired by a number of films in the series, the basic premise remains the same: Teenagers preparing Camp Crystal Lake for re-opening try to survive and escape Jason, who drowned in the lake due to negligence of two staff members long ago. The game never directly tells you any of this, but heavily implies and assumes some level of familiarity with the series and basic plot. Instead, the focus is squarely on getting you into the action as fast as possible either to survive the killer or hunt the counselors round after round after round.

Is it any good?

While still plagued with early technical flaws, this violent multiplayer game is a fun, though shallow and very primal experience. It's heavily reminiscent of a playground game of Tag, where the player who is "it" (Jason), has to find the other players. Players who aren't Jason are expected to communicate with one another via voice chat, as forming loose alliances and collaborating on tactics is the only way to assure getting out alive. Each game begins the same way: Seven non-Jason players spot him coming over the horizon and promptly run away. Players split up with a goal of either repairing a car or boat or calling the police. If they're extremely lucky and tactical, they can also try to kill Jason before he successfully stalks and kills all of them. There are only three maps, which can make this repetitious act of survival and escape seem overly familiar and occasionally lacking in suspense, but most of the fun truly comes from frantically escaping tense interactions with Jason that occur at the most inopportune times. It's entertaining, horrifying, and incredibly exciting, and the only way to get out is to work together.

But as an online multiplayer game, it's not without some of the predictable hitches that occur in games like these. Even beyond the occasional server hiccups (on console and PC) are a lot of bugs: controls can be unresponsive, which is hard to forgive in such a strategic and twitchy game. There are also weird glitches like counselors randomly floating high above Jason into the ceilings, and a few other basic issues. It would be stretching it to say these bugs pop up frequently, but like Jason, again, they seem to occur at the absolute worst times. Still, by and large, the game is a tad basic but still able to provide plenty of fun for hours on end -- a lot of it banks on who you're playing with, because otherwise there isn't much variety on offer. But if you can gather together a group of friends that enjoy a scare, it could be worth taking a trip to Crystal Lake.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. While the game tries to recreate the nature of violent slasher films, is there any way the game could've been made without the same amount of gore? Does the violence have less of an impact because there's no storyline, so you don't have a connection with the characters you're playing?

  • Talk about survival against all odds. Have you ever been afraid for your life? Why did things work out okay in the end? What did you learn from the experience? 

  • Why is empathy for others important? How do you define how and where to set limits for being kind to others, when it may also exhaust or harm you in some way in the process?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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