Gylt

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Gylt Game Poster Image
Dark adventure is light on horror and heavy on themes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Sally's main goal is to save her cousin Emily and escape the world she's trapped in. Along the way, players are given glimpses at other strong issues and themes, such as how guilt, depression, and bullying can affect people emotionally, leaving them feeling trapped and abandoned without support from others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sally's driven to save her cousin, both out of a sense of responsibility and a certain level of redemption. While Sally can get scared and want to run sometimes, she keeps going in spite of the conflict she faces, both from the creatures of the nightmare world and from her own inner turmoil.

Ease of Play

The game does a great job of directing players where to go to progress the story, and even nudges them along the way to find the various secrets hidden throughout the adventure. Stealth is important to focus on, as combat isn't Sally's strongest suit.

Violence

Monsters are actively hunting players, which can occasionally (or often, depending on play style) lead to combat. Defeated creatures generally disintegrate into ash, though some have more dramatic defeats. There are also scenes of Emily tied up, hanging, and being tormented by one boss creature.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gylt is a puzzle/adventure game available exclusively on the Stadia game service. Controls are straightforward and easy to pick up, with players often nudged in the right direction so as not to get lost or stuck. The game has some horror elements that could scare young kids, but there's nothing explicit and no graphic depictions of violence. Enemies are usually avoided through stealth or eliminated with Sally's flashlight, usually fading as ash afterward. The game does feature some story themes involving deeper issues such as depression, bullying, redemption, and more, all of which could open up a dialogue on these subjects between parents and kids.

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What's it about?

GYLT is a single-player dark puzzle/adventure game with horror themes available exclusively on the Stadia gaming platform. It's been weeks since Sally's younger cousin Emily disappeared without a trace, and as time passed, most people gave up on ever finding her. But not Sally. One night, Sally's chased off the road and into a chasm by local bullies. Escaping via a rundown cable lift, Sally finds herself in a place that's looks like her hometown, but isn't. This place is filled with shadows, and in those shadows lurk strange creatures hunting for any lost souls that cross their path. Out of the corner of her eye, Sally spots Emily, who promptly runs away. With her cousin finally found, Sally's determined to bring her home. Armed with only a flashlight and her wits, Sally must face her fears head on if she hopes to save Emily and herself. But what could have happened to cause Emily to run from Sally? And how will they both escape a place that shouldn't exist to begin with?

Is it any good?

Video games can sometimes tend to fall into one extreme or another, such as being either colorful and happy games for young kids, or gruesome survival horror games for more mature gamers. Gylt, on the other hand, has managed to carve a nice niche for itself in a sort of middle ground. The overall flavor of the game is something similar to what would happen if Disney hired Tim Burton to create a Silent Hill game. It's creepy, but it has a message. It's got scares that can make even the most hardcore horror fan jump, but it's never scary enough to keep anyone up at night either.

Gylt's gameplay is pretty sold overall. The controls are generally easy to pick up and play, although getting into combat can sometimes feel clunky. The game has an auto-aim that doesn't always seem to hit its target just right. Also, some of the puzzle aspects can feel a little repetitive at times, though the overall experience doesn't suffer much from it. Plus, the game does mix things up a bit, often tossing in an unexpected jump scare or other element to keep up a player's focus on the tension of what might be lurking around the corner. Finally, clocking in at about four hours or so, Gylt is a relatively short experience, but the game's central theme of facing your fears and coping with issues can open up some real thought and dialogue long after the final collectible is found and the credits have rolled.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about horror as entertainment. What's the appeal of the horror genre and why do we like to be scared? How can the horror element be used to drive home a bigger message?

  • What are some of the ways that bullying can affect kids, and how should kids deal seeing others being bullied or being bullied themselves?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

Themes & Topics

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