Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure

Game review by
JK Sooja, Common Sense Media
Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure Game Poster Image
Well-tuned adventure has charming characters and fun combat.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about helping others, solving puzzles, and the value of friendship and family. Kids also will learn about why sometimes good people do bad things and how to forgive rather than forget. Many foes will be defeated and many dungeons will be excavated, but navigating the monster world will require strategy to face various enemies and bosses, along with logic to solve the environmental puzzles and riddles. Kids will have to think critically and smartly about when to equip which accessories and drill parts to best defeat an area or boss. Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure puts a fun, colorful spin on puzzle solving, exploration, and adventure.

Positive Messages

Focuses on value of friendship, "doing the right thing." By the end, lessons of forgiveness, honesty affect even villains.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parin is a strong heroine, assertive, tough, brave, intelligent, inquisitive. Most of her monster companions, though flawed, show ability to learn, show compassion. Plus, they're cute.

Ease of Play

Ability to save anywhere, multiple difficulty levels balance out tricky areas. Easy-to-understand interface.

Violence

Parin kills many kinds of creatures, some of which resemble real-world animals, but they're cartoonishly shown. There's no blood, enemies "die" by "poofing" into coins, other items. Story also features kidnapping and the destruction of homes in the monster village.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One brief tobacco reference.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure is a downloadable action-adventure game with light role-playing-game (RPG) elements, featuring mild fantasy violence wrapped in a cartoony sheen. From a third-person perspective, players play as Parin, a young heroine who will fight and destroy many kinds of fantasy enemies, monsters, and creatures with a legendary drill that acts as a sword; though there's violence, there's no blood, and enemies frequently drop coins or items as they vanish. Controls are easy to pick up, and players will add different techniques and skills to their repertoires as Parin gets stronger. 

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What's it about?

GURUMIN: A MONSTROUS ADVENTURE is a balanced and charming action-adventure game where players play as Parin, a young girl sent to stay with her grandfather in the small mining village of Tiese. Parin quickly discovers that she seems to be the only child in town. She eventually meets another kid, Pino, who reveals that adults can’t see the monsters in the monster village or the Phantoms that have suddenly invaded the monster world. Parin soon runs into the "Evil Prince," who has nefarious plans. She sets out to eliminate the Phantoms plaguing the monster world and get to the bottom of the Prince's schemes.

Is it any good?

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure has a strong moral story, tight controls, and enough RPG elements to qualify as the first foray into action-adventure role-playing games for many young players. The world is easily approachable -- it reveals itself slowly by uncovering foggy areas as gamers unlock new dungeons and work to retrieve household items to help Parin's monster friends rebuild their homes. Environmental puzzles and platforming challenges also are solved as Parin takes on mini-games and boss battles and uncovers secrets during the adventure. Character and enemy design is top-notch, and the environments are varied. Also, unlike the PSP version released in 2007, this version features almost no load times whatsoever. There's still a fair bit of backtracking here and there to complete tasks and advance the story, but gameplay is smooth and fast. 

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure also has some depth. Upon completing each dungeon, players are ranked and given a score based on how many enemies they've defeated, how many secrets they've uncovered, and so on. Getting an "S" (for Super) ranking in each area is quite a challenge. By completing optional side quests and mini-games, players also can get medals (bronze, silver, and gold) that will grant them special items and accessories later in the game. These items can be equipped for added bonuses in combat. Parin can even find different costumes to wear, which unlock more special attacks and moves. Overall, Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure is a delightful adventure with a surprising amount of depth, action, and fun, especially for young gamers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Is the violence in Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure justifiable because of its cartoonish nature, or should there be no violence at all?

  • What do you think are the main lessons of the story? Do you agree with them and/or think they were achieved?

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