Parents' Guide to

I Am Dead

By Angelica Guarino, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Mature themes handled delicately in heartwarming puzzler.

Game Mac , Nintendo Switch , Windows 2020
I Am Dead Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Though the main characters may be dead, this town of Shelmerston feels alive. I Am Dead strikes an intricate balance between showing a kind of character that you'd recognize as well as ones you've never seen before. For instance -- take Morris' dog, Sparky. She loves dog things like tennis balls and belly rubs, but hates human things like riddles and orchestras. Another outstanding element is the logical basis for each of the puzzles. It's rare for a story-driven puzzle game to be as fully integrated as this one. Hidden items are always found in places that aren't too obvious, but they make sense. It's always possible to picture how the item ended up in that place, whether it's mentioned in the story or not, which is a small, yet compelling feature. There are many emotionally engaging details in each scene as well, such as the island's furious curiosity towards the supposedly mythical creatures called "camels" and the fact that many of the town's stray cats have names. Lastly, players control the pace at which the game progresses, creating a relaxing experience. Once the necessary story elements are complete in each scene, players have the freedom to choose whether to stick around and find all collectible items or further the story.

When discussing a topic as difficult as death, it is also notable that the game never mentions how each of the deceased characters passed away. Instead, the story chooses to pull focus to their lasting effect on those who love them most. This is another seemingly minor detail that sharpens the experience and communicates its message in a remarkably positive manner. It manages to tell both an emotionally moving and comforting message about death -- that people you love not only live on in your memories, but shape your personalities and values.

Game Details

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