Creative premise but violent, repetitive play.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Players will use bullets and explosives to kill humans and monsters alike. Dead enemies sometimes leave splashes of blood against a wall. Dead monsters leave a puddle of goo.


A female character is shown taking a shower, although carefully placed bubbles obscure any nudity.


Some crude language, but no intense swearing.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that players use bullets and explosives to blast through humans and monsters in this first-person shooter. There is some light cursing and partial nudity as well. Also, the gameplay features a unique spirit-possession dynamic, though the supernatural action is never scary.

What's it about?

In GEIST, players assume the role of John Raimi, a scientist on a mission to destroy the Volks Corp., a shadowy entity that is conducting otherworldly experiments. Raimi gets caught in one of these experiments and his spirit is separated from his body. Players spend the better part of the game trying to defeat Volks and bring ghost and body back together. Raimi's spirit can posses a variety of people, animals, and even inanimate objects.

Before Raimi's ghost can take possession of a living host, he must scare it. This often sets up little puzzles: For example, players might posses a bowl of dog food to scare and posses a dog, then use the dog to scare a rat, then finally posses the rat and run through a crack in the wall. Players also will navigate the Volks underground laboratories and buildings as a possessed human.

Is it any good?


Puzzles become predictable, and it seems arbitrary which objects can be possessed and which are off-limits. With a few exceptions, the shooter levels will likely be routine and dull for anyone familiar with the genre. The violence also is typical of the genre: Players blast enemy humans and monsters with guns and explosives, although these scenes are not very graphic. In many ways, the game's attempts to create a gritty, mature atmosphere fall flat.

Geist includes an offline multiplayer mode that conforms to many first-person-shooter conventions. Players will blast friends or computer-controlled bots in deathmatch and capture-the-flag-type contests. The final problem?: Blocky, dated graphics and choppy slowdowns. Ultimately, players will find this to be an original first-person shooter haunted by repetitive gameplay.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the first-person-shooter genre. Are games more immersive when players look through the eyes of a protagonist? Do first-person games affect players differently than third-person games? Do shooting games have to be graphically violent?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo GameCube
Available online?Not available online
Release date:August 16, 2005
ESRB rating:M

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byDraven844 January 18, 2011

ESRB: making game ratings right?

Long story short: this game is fine for teens. Noting bad in it really
Teen, 15 years old Written byMedia45 April 9, 2008
Teen, 15 years old Written bysamcantin December 28, 2008

Common Sense is exagerrating

The game should have probably been rated Teen, but I guess the ESRB has problems with games that involve gunning people down and seeing a bit of blood. No, really, most of the time you kill some creatures/monsters and a few times you need to kill humans. The graphics are pretty bad but the gameplay is creative and solid and overall, besides some blood and some mild cussing, geist is a game with T rated violence.


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