A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that NeuroVoider is a downloadable co-op multiplayer rogue-like game where up to four players survive as long as they can on a series of randomly generated levels. That means fighting a lot of enemies and collecting loot to upgrade your character. And when you're killed, you have to start over from scratch. While robots explode when shot, they do so in a cartoonish manner. The aggressive difficulty, even on the lightest mode, is sure to provide a challenge.
What's it about?
There's no story in NEUROVOIDER, only a strong cyberfuturistic atmosphere where brains preserved in robots go around shooting other "evil" robots in a series of randomly generated rooms and traps. You aren't given much more background information, nor do you really need one. With no real lore even hinted at as you make your way through the levels, it's clear the point of the game is to shoot and blast and react more than think. You shoot, shoot at the bosses, and just keep on shooting at every twist and turn.
Is it any good?
This is a grueling and fast-paced action title where, to truly experience it at its best, you must play with other people. Obviously, not every game could possibly include every feature, but the lack of online multiplayer guarantees you will be playing solo from time to time, and the game really isn't meant to be played that way. You're supposed to be outgunned in this game, but when you play alone, you get no backup at all and have to play much more defensively. This isn't a game that's meant to be played defensively, since it's clearly a hack-'n'-slash kind of action title. It's a different story with other players, but not everybody will be able to have up to three friends over (or a willing family) to help the experience be as varied as it possibly can be.
And that's just part of NeuroVoider's charm and minor frustrations. It's built around a simple premise: survive, Blast enemies, level up. But the game winds up being a tad too coy from time to time, especially between levels. You have up to three character classes you can choose from at the outset of any game (with strengths in offense, defense, and speed), but you can upgrade different parts of your chassis and weapon. You collect bolts and power-ups on each level, though how they're used to level up characters is unclear. For example, why can you sometimes upgrade an item if you have enough bolts, but other times you can't? When you upgrade a certain part of your chassis, will that truly be an upgrade or will it downgrade other elements or completely change your character class? In most cases, these things are unclear until after you've gone for it -- which is a surprise, since there seems to be some care in allowing players to comparison shop. There's just no information, so you frequently wind up flying blind in a game that requires at least a little bit of strategic thinking.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: Linux, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $13.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Plug In Digital Ltd
- Release date: March 14, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Robots, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Fantasy Violence
- Last updated: March 8, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.