A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Despite the constant threat of war and chaos, players can do their best to fight against the forces of fascism and Nazi Germany, evoking bravery, compassion, and teamwork to overcome the ills of war with a cast of characters willing to fight back.
Positive Role Models
Gerda and some of her closest friends and allies bravely fight for their town and do their best to be as kind and caring as possible. But, given the circumstances, it's impossible for anyone to survive without doing some things that may be considered "bad."
The cultural nuances of Denmark are proudly displayed, and the game even goes out of its way to offer facts about Danish culture and customs. There are also people of varying body types and ages present within the game.
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Ease of Play
Movement in the game is seamless, and it's always clear what the limitations are when it comes to certain time-based sections and moral choices.
Violence & Scariness
While there's no gore and things don't get too graphic, characters can be shot at and potentially die, causing bloodshed. There are also bombs and explosives present throughout the game, though you rarely see anyone get blown up onscreen. A certain scene shows the interrogation of a child to gain information under the threat of violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
While there are romantic relationships between couples, there's never a focus on these bonds under the threat of violence.
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Cursing isn't frequent, but theres heavy profanity during certain tense sequences in the form of "damn," "hell," "bastard," s—t," and "f—k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Players can drink at a dinner party, becoming drunk and possibly belligerent. You can also come across other intoxicated characters, as well as dealing with people who are addicted to pills.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gerda: A Flame in Winter is a downloadable single-player narrative-focused RPG (role-playing game) available for Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows. Players will assume the role of Gerda, a nurse residing in Tinglev who must reckon with the incoming threat of Nazism near the end of their reign of terror. In this tragic tale, violence is always a possibility as characters can be shot by Nazi soldiers, causing bloodshed and potentially death – and bombs and explosives also play a part in the game's larger story. Desperation also causes people to drink, becoming belligerently drunk at times and causing trouble. Cursing isn't frequent, but during some tense scenes, characters can use profanity such as "damn," "hell," "bastard," s—t," and "f—k." But among all the pain, violence, and chaos is the core of Danish culture with an emphasis on the region's many customs and traditions. There are also chances for players to use compassion, teamwork, bravery, and other virtues to save not only themselves, but as many of their friends and family as they're able to. But keep in mind that when it comes to war, it's impossible for players to have their hands completely clean from start to finish.
Is It Any Good?
Many games centered around war choose to glorify chaos and violence, concerning themselves more with the spectacle of war rather than its very real, tragic consequences. Gerda: A Flame in Winter is equal parts heartfelt and distressing as it follows a central cast of characters of varying nationalities during the collapse of Nazi Germany. While Gerda is the star – and players will have their fair share of tense moral choices to make to further develop Gerda throughout her story – the game does a perfect job of keeping up with the lives of the supporting cast, their shifting allegiances, and their feelings toward those around them. The game directly asks players time and again what's more important: your needs, or the needs of others? In answering those questions, players will inevitably be forced into doing things out of desperation, even at the potential expense of the friends you've made along the way. As choices become more and more difficult, the player and Gerda become one as the stakes increase with every passing day.
Players will also have to reckon with the realities of the fascist regime that was Nazi Germany. It could've been easy to simply make every German players come across a power-hungry, violent, obviously evil person that joined Hitler's ranks just to tear families apart and commit heinous acts against those who refused to fall in line. But the game emphasizes the many reasons a person might join such a crusade regardless of the harm it caused. In this way, the story perfectly demonstrates that extremism and fascism rarely begin as radical opinions or beliefs – sometimes, it happens slowly but surely. In this game, there are no winners, even if a situation goes exactly the way you want it to. There are only survivors and people forced to live with the decisions they've made. There isn't a "perfect playthrough" to be found here – only playthroughs where things may end a little less disastrously for certain people than they did the last time. Gerda: A Flame in Winter is a bold, meaningful game, and you'd be hard-pressed to find other games that would dare to walk where Gerda has so bravely sprinted.
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