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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
All about fighting evil to transform fellow "metal heads" back into humans, but killing enemies limits positive impact.
Positive Role Models
Nothing known about protagonists to assess whether they're positive or not. Sure, they're destroying evil, but they're killing many thousands of possessed humans, other creatures in process.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Players use a guitar, modified by magic, to shoot, destroy evil enemies that disappear in purple smoke when killed.
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Products & Purchases
Along with original music, uses, promotes heavy metal tracks from bands like Striker, Despite, Persefone, and A Breath of Silence. Some characters resemble real-life heavy metal stars.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References to alcohol, such as beer signs in taverns, bars (fictional brands), you can also collect a "Free Drink" item which shows a picture of a mug of beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Metal Tales: Fury of the Guitar Gods is a downloadable top-down cartoon shooter. Players aim and fire an electric guitar to destroy possessed humans and fantasy creatures. There isn't any blood -- enemies explode into purple smoke -- but frenetic combat is the core gameplay mechanic. In both the solo model and co-op option, the game also shows alcohol as a "reward," plus heavy metal tracks are licensed from real bands.
Is It Any Good?
As a frenetic shooter, this game has its charm, but its tech issues hit a sour note. It can be fun to take down enemies that swarm you, while you move out of the way to avoid their projectiles and melee attacks. The heavy metal soundtrack works well for this game's rock theme, characters and environments. The pacing and difficulty level keeps you on your toes, and challenges you without feeling like it's too easy or tough. Rooms are randomly generated, so it keeps things fresh, even when you have to repeat a level after you die. And there's many upgrades to find and use, along with the option to summon help, drop bombs, shoot exploding barrels, and use other fun ways to inflict damage.
But this Steam game has its share of issues -- namely, technical ones -- such as your player getting stuck running into a wall (and other "clipping" issues), and the odd freeze or crash. In another instance the audio was crackling, and then cut out altogether. There've been patches to the game since it released, and hopefully more on the way. Because even at only $15, a player shouldn't have to face these kinds of glitches just to play a game. Still, Metal Tales: Fury of the Guitar Gods is an above average retro shooter that's especially fun for fans of heavy metal.
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.