A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game's about exploring a faraway planet to see if it could sustain life before it's too late on the hero's home world.
Positive Role Models
You play as Mei, a brave young scout who makes a huge sacrifice as a "scout" -- she must say goodbye to her family to climb aboard a spaceship for a 1,000 year journey, while cryogenically frozen, to travel to another planet. She seems like she's a positive role model, and seems like a noble and smart young woman who only engages in combat when forced to (she, in fact, defends the hostile creatures and fauna for defending their world).
In the crowd scene at the start of the game, before Mei and her co-pilot Isao travel through space, the group of characters show diversity, with a mix of different races, genders, and ages, too.
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Ease of Play
A mandatory tutorial teaches the basics of controlling your jett vehicle, which can skip over surfaces -- such as hovering over rough oceans and mountainous lands. It isn't too difficult to learn the gamepad controls.
Violence & Scariness
There's very little combat. In fact, Mei talks about respecting the creatures and fauna, which might lash out at the player's jett vehicle. You will be asked to get close to study local wildlife and try to avoid interfering with their actions. You may stun a creature using your pop ability, but it's not deadly.
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The phrase "hell's bells" can be read in the dialog subtitles/captions.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jett: The Far Shore is a downloadable sci-fi adventure game available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows PC (via the Epic Store). The story is about exploring a water-covered planet, studying its wildlife, and tracking down the source of a mysterious signal known as the "hymnwave" that brought you to this strange world to begin with. This single-player game has very little combat (in fact, you're discouraged from bothering the alien life), plus there's no inappropriate content to be found in the game.
Is It Any Good?
This slower-paced game impresses more in its premise and production elements than the actual gameplay, which feels uneven and without engaging puzzles or action. As far as atmospheric experiences go -- including an emotional connection to the story, characters, and environments -- Jett: The Far Shore does an extraordinary job with its stylized art direction, mystical soundtrack (which fuses classical music with chants), and fictional language. While much of the game is soothing, there are some moments of tension, especially around the third act or so, when you're tasked with finding some indigenous flora and fauna through your scanner, evading hostile enemies who don't want you there, and deciphering radio chatter from your co-pilot (which you must read as there's no English audio). The problem is juggling it all simultaneously, but you do get the hang of it pretty quickly.
The action slows down when you're on foot and when you visit Ground Control to chat with other scouts like you. This slower pace risks losing some gamers from staying engaged, but again, Jett: The Far Shore is really more of a virtual getaway -- a playable parable, if you will -- with gameplay that focuses more on exploration and discovery than conflict. What interactions you do have tend to get a little repetitive after a while, too. Without giving too much away, there's a build-up towards a conclusion, but it's not as climactic as it could be. Overall, Jett: The Far Shore is a unique indie ride, but it's too bad the developers didn't provide deeper and more engaging action or puzzle-solving. The sci-fi premise is great, and so are the graphics and music, but it feels like it could have been much more.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.