A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is an action role-playing game available for PlayStation 4 and Windows-based PC. The game is an original story set within the popular Little Witch Academia anime and manga series. The game's style takes its cue from the anime, with a very cartoonish look that sometimes presents characters in suggestive clothing and poses. Although conflict/violence is core to the game, with a steady stream of fights, the style reduces the impact of the violence, since blood and gore are replaced by flashy, colorful visual effects. Unlike the anime series and movies, which are appropriate for younger kids, this game is better suited for older players, with its suggestive dialogue and revealing outfits, focus on violent gameplay, and unmoderated multiplayer action. That said, the story does feature recurring themes of friendship and teamwork, with characters coming together to overcome obstacles while helping others. And gameplay is relatively easy to pick up, with a very gradual difficulty curve.
What's it about?
In LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA: CHAMBER OF TIME, Akko and her classmates have just wrapped up final exams and are looking forward to summer break. After cleaning up the library, Akko stumbles across yet another of the school's magical secrets: an unassuming clock stashed away in a hidden room. Fumbling with the mysterious artifact, Akko accidentally creates an infinite time loop, forcing her and her friends to relive the events of the day over and over again. At the same time, a strange force, dubbed "The Seven Wonders," has fallen over Luna Nova and unleashed all kinds of fantastic monsters and creatures throughout the school's halls. Now it's up to Akko and her friends to uncover the source of The Seven Wonders, save the school, break the time loop, and make the most of a very, very long day.
Is it any good?
While this adventure is easy to get into, its repetitive gameplay and combat mean that it will probably appeal only to fans of the anime series. The plot of Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time focuses on the feelings people have about days that feel like they'll never end -- or ones they want to do over. Unfortunately, these are the same feelings you get when you play the game; sometimes you can't wait to jump back into it, but other times, it feels like it goes on forever. The biggest, and most ironic, issue with this adventure is its repetition. The gameplay is surprisingly simple and formulaic, which is great for newcomers. You can get a rhythm going with attacks and defense, which start to become second nature. The flip side is that, by the time the latter half of the story rolls around, you can't help but feel like you're just going through the motions of "attack, attack, dodge, repeat." Thankfully, the game's multiplayer component changes things up a bit by pitting players against each other, mixing up the routine of fighting computer-controlled opponents.
Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is definitely a love letter to fans of the series. The story is an original adventure, rather than a rehash of old plot points. It's also a fun treat for players to get to explore the halls of Luna Nova, learning bits of trivia or finding familiar treats as they go. The game perfectly replicates the style and personality of the student body and school staff. That's great for those already familiar with the series, but if you're new to Little Witch Academia, you might want to track down a few episodes of the cartoon before diving into the game. Without some sort of primer, newcomers are otherwise left scratching their heads as many of the in-jokes and references fall flat. Subtract that, and all players are left with is a simplistic, repetitive game with just enough style and charm tossed in for flavor.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time doesn't show blood or gore, even though violence frequently takes place -- do you think this is a good way to handle this kind of content? Is violence necessary to the story?
Talk about character strengths like teamwork. What are some ways that people can work together to overcome difficulties and obstacles?
How do Japanese anime and manga differ from the more Americanized cartoon and comic book scene? What are some of the traits they have in common?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows
- Price: $49.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: May 15, 2018
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Crude Humor, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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