A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas is a downloadable, cartoony adventure game. Much like the Legend of Zelda series, this game is much more about puzzle solving and exploration than combat or treasure hunting. While players will have to defend themselves with swords and other fantasy weapons, there's no blood or gore.
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What's it about?
OCEANHORN: MONSTER OF THE UNCHARTED SEAS is a downloadable adventure game in which you play as an island-dwelling, fresh-faced orphan on his quest to find his papa. Clearly inspired and influenced by the early Legend of Zelda games, this has you running around a cartoony world, exploring dark dungeons, and occasionally taking a swing at some really big crabs. Not surprisingly, given its lineage and look -- it was originally released on tablets -- the game is also rather arcade-like, both in how you move around the world and how you engage in combat, both of which are done via simple, intuitive controls. Many of the puzzles are physics-based, though you don't need a college degree to solve them, just a sense of how switches work.
Is it any good?
Though this cartoony adventure game is somewhere between an homage to and a rip-off of the Legend of Zelda series, and it's mostly fun, it's not as engaging or as inventive as the games it's copying. Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas has a cartoonish style and is also more about exploration and puzzle solving than combat and looting, but its story and puzzles aren't as clever as a Zelda game. In addition, its cartoony approach and arcade-like combat are amusing, but it probably won't hold the attention of those looking for something darker. For those unfamiliar with Zelda-style adventures, the game's mechanics may also pose a problem, since there isn't a lot of explanation about what you're supposed to do.
That said, the game does have some clever puzzles that will put a smile on your face. There are also some sequences that are designed to make you really feel for the kid, especially when he's just trying to find out what happened to his dad. Even the action, though simplistic, can be fun in an old-school kind of way. Which is why, if you're looking for something a little more innocent than your typical adventure game, Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas' puzzles and exploring will keep you entertained -- well, until the next Zelda comes out.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about thinking things through. What did this game show you about thinking about a problem instead of just trial and error? How can you use that in your daily lives?
Talk about honoring thy mother and thy father. How far would you go to help your mom or dad? What little things can you do for them now?
Discuss water safety. Why is it important to wear a life vest when you're in a boat? Sure, we don't have sea monsters like they do in this game, but our oceans are still dangerous. Why?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: FDG Entertainment
- Release date: September 12, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Ocean Creatures, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
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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.