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Run-of-the-mill fantasy game has blood and gore.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players embark on the noble quest of restoring peace to a village that has become overrun by evil sorcery. It is always implied that players are working to take out the bad guys to ensure villagers and civilians remain safe and protected; however, the central gameplay mechanic is violence.

Positive role models

Fitting with the mythological theme of the game, the heroic characters have a larger-than-life aura about them. They are seen as strong, powerful, brave warriors who put the greater good above everything else. While they do use violence (with very fantastical, otherworldly attacks), the bigger picture is that they are taking out the bad guys and working to restore peace to the world.

Ease of play

This game is accessible but challenging. Players with no experience in role-playing games will likely have a tough time mastering the nuances in the controls and strategy, but even players with a modicum of experience in the genre should be able to grasp the battle mechanics fairly easily. Developing the correct strategy and being skillful enough to take out waves of enemies while avoiding their oncoming attacks can be a challenge, and mastering the controls over time will allow players to progress through the game at a good pace.


This game involves a seemingly nonstop barrage of enemy creatures that must be killed by any means possible. The violence is against creatures that are fantastical and unearthly in design, and many of the attacks involve bright flashes of fire and lightning. However, players will see constant sprays of blood and chunks of indistinguishable flesh and bones when creatures are destroyed. The violent content is always presented as the only result to a larger-than-life conflict, and players are on the good side as they try to eradicate the evil creatures.

Not applicable

There is rough dialogue in the game, including discussion about mass warfare and epic conflicts; the word "s--t" appears during some of the more heated passages.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Magicka is a fantastical role-playing game set in the ethereal universe of Norse mythology. It is the player's job to travel across distant lands and destroy evil creatures that plague the world, with the end goal of taking out an almighty sorcerer. When creatures -- not humans -- are destroyed, they emit splashes of blood and indistinguishable pieces of gore. The violence generally consists of magic spells and other fantastical attacks, and the depiction is from a zoomed-out perspective. In addition, there is some rough dialogue that occurs between characters. Players can play the game online with unfiltered chat, though unlike many online games, this one encourages cooperative play where everyone works together.

What's it about?

The story in MAGICKA is loosely based on Norse mythology. Players are put in the shoes of a young wizard who embarks on a larger-than-life quest to eradicate the world of an evil sorcerer and a barrage of creatures bent on destroying the world. As a story unfolds about the gods, players team up with a band of characters and learn new magic abilities as their skills improve. There are 12 different, expansive levels that require players to both attack with cunning and strategy, as well as use their minds to solve puzzles and navigate the various terrain.

Is it any good?


There is nothing particularly new or noteworthy in Magicka. Rather, it feels like a generic fantasy role-playing game. The nods to Norse mythology are a bit overused in this genre, so there is nothing special about that either. The storyline is well written and captivating enough to hold players' attention, but it is not worthy of excessive acclamation. Likewise, the combat system is derivative of other games. The entire experience feels like the game was simply meeting a checklist of requirements for a solid RPG, and while it definitely meets everything that would be on that checklist, it does not go above and beyond to deliver anything new and exciting.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the level of violence in this game. Is the blood and gore excessive, and how much is the impact lessened by the fact that all creatures are non-human? Or that the view is from top-down?

  • Does this game accurately capture the mythos and lore of mythology?

  • What is the over-arching message of the game's story?

Game details

Platforms:Mac, Windows
Available online?Available online
Developer:Paradox Interactive
Release date:January 25, 2011
Genre:Role Playing
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:T for Blood and Gore, Language, Violence

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Teen, 15 years old Written byxInsidiousx July 28, 2013


I think eleven years old is more suitable for this game, i mean come on! its a game about casting spells and dungeon crawling. sure it has a bit of COMIC blood but that is all. and plus, it is a decent game as well so if you havent played this........ im disappointed!
Teen, 17 years old Written byPerspectiveDesigns December 11, 2013

Common sense media forgot the most important parts! Jokes and Magic system.

In general this common sense media's review of the title is really messed up. The only really accurate content is the violence. Now to what the game is actually like. In terms of content the most worrying things are the violence and consumerism. It is possible to kill yourself, your friends, and hundreds of monsters in explosions of gore. The gore looks a bit goofy, but after a large battle the entire area can be filled with blood and giblets. The consumerism is present right at the menu. On the right side of the screen is ads for all of Magicka's dlc. You don't have to worry about any other ads, but these can still get annoying. Like Common Sense Media said, privacy can also be an issue with online games. In terms of the quality of the game, the review is extremely lacking. The game uses an ingenious magic system where you combine 8 different "elements" in many different ways to form your own spells. Randomly forming dangerous spells in the middle of a battle leads to endless amusement as you accidently heal all the orcs and explode your friends. Another element that Common Sense Media completely ignored is the comedy. The entire games is filled with gags and parodies of nerd pop culture. You will constantly here lines like "Only goblin rangers are so precise.". The entire game is about the jokes and the amazing magic system. I'm disappointed that Common Sense Media weren't able to see the amazing fun that can be found in this game. If you don't mind the gore (it is possible to turn it off) and you are a nerd, buy this game!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 14 years old Written byZaptrix December 3, 2012

Not your average fantasy game with variable violence.

Magicka at first may seem like an ordinary role playing game. You have a basic goal to complete levels without dying- but after that it goes a bit off path. Unlike most games, you have a complex style of combat in which you combine elements to cast different types of spells all depending on the combinations. Besides spells players have a slightly limited fighting style. You can find various different staffs and offhand weapons along your journey, each having special abilities to go with them, but there is no proper inventory which makes deciding whether the weapon you have found is worth taking quite a hassle. Although the gore at times can be extreme, there are settings in the menu that let you turn this off quite easily. The story has many twists and turns and will make you wondering what will happen next. Overall this game is a fun and humorous experience that can be played time and time again.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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