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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Guacamelee is an action game with platforming elements. You play an agave farmer who acquires a magical mask that grants him access to the land of the dead. He can cross between the world of the living and that of the dead as he fights enemies and works toward rescuing El Presidente's kidnapped daughter. Parents should know this game has combat, with Juan beating up enemies and tossing them around, and there's little blood. Juan also loves tequila and has pictures of pinup girls in his house.
What's it about?
GUACAMELEE is an action platformer starring Juan Aguacate, an agave farmer who stumbles upon a Legendary Luchador mask. Donning the mask helps Juan find the strength and courage to become a hero and confront Carlos Calaca, who has kidnapped El Presidente's daughter (before he sacrifices her in order to merge the World of the Living with the World of the Dead). As Juan travels through a mystical and mysterious Mexican world as a Luchador, he uses his powerful fists to lay waste to enemies, avoid obstacles, and navigate tricky terrain. Juan will also unlock hidden wrestling techniques like the Rooster Uppercut and Dimension Swap to open new areas and secrets. The game also features drop-in, drop-out two-player local co-operative (co-op) play.
Is it any good?
This adventure game is fun, challenging, and gorgeous. With a story and graphics inspired by Mexican folklore, this 2D platformer has you climbing mountains, navigating through dangerous caves and caverns, and hopping along tree-tops -- plus you'll be able to swap between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. You'll master attack moves and combos and unlock new ones along the way as you unravel more of the story, accessing new locations and characters. The game is also funny, with humorous dialogue, references to pop culture, and plenty of chickens that play a key role (no spoilers, don't worry). Two-player co-op is a blast, should you have a friend or family member beside you.
While Guacamelee's hand-to-hand combat and platforming gameplay is challenging, you're never really punished for missing a ledge (as you'll magically appear again), which is good for more novice gamers. Should you lose a life, you'll start over at a nearby checkpoint. Aside from being a little repetitive and short, there isn't much to complain about with Guacamelee -- especially give its $15 sticker price. If you're a fan of action platformers, Mexican culture, and wrestling, you'll love this charming and memorable indie game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Should parents be concerned about the focus on brawling or wrestling-like moves, or is it fine because this is cartoonish, exaggerated, and stylized combat?
Talk about the cultural elements shown in Guacamelee. Did you know about Luchadores or the Mexican folklore surrounding the land of the living and the dead? Does this game make you want to learn more about these things?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Drinkbox Studios
- Release date: April 9, 2013
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol
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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.