Octopath Traveler

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Octopath Traveler Game Poster Image
Deep, challenging tale will keep you playing for hours.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Basic good vs. evil story, with heavy focus on combat. Emphasis on helping others, adventuring with friends. Throughout the story, you can choose to help someone or ignore their pleas, but helping often results in rewards later on. Conflict resolution is only handled through combat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players choose from eight different characters, most of whom are noble -- but one's a thief, and one's a hunter who focuses on battle. Little is known about each character, though players can define each by their in-game choices.

Ease of Play

Simple controls that are easy to learn, but gameplay can be challenging. Fortunately, combat is turn-based, so players can plan out each move without relying on reflexes.


Heavy focus on combat and violence; characters use weapons to hack and slash enemies or shoot fireballs or ice blasts and use other magic attacks. Blood can be seen, but no gore, and enemies might cry out in pain when attacked. Tiny, pixelated graphics/characters affect the impact of the violence.


Flirting and mildly suggestive dialogue.


Dialogue includes phrases like "damn it all to hell," "goddamn," and "bloody hell."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some characters drink beer or mead-like drinks in taverns and bars.

What parents need to know

Parents should know that Octopath Traveler is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) for the Nintendo Switch that's reminiscent of classic RPGs from the '80s and '90s. Players have the option to help people in need or ignore their pleas; the rewards of helping people out reinforce a moral ideal that assisting people is a positive virtue, although conflict resolution is handled only through combat. The visuals include small, pixelated characters that fight against enemies and interact with hundreds of characters in the game's virtual world. Fighting is a large part of gameplay and is handled in a turn-based fashion in which characters can use swords and cast magic spells like fireballs to destroy enemies. There's some blood, but it's not realistic, and the small, unrealistic visuals affect the impact of the violence. There's a bit of flirting in the dialogue between some characters, plus phrases like "damn it all to hell," and characters are seen drinking beer or mead in taverns.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJesse Potter July 20, 2018

Great for younger statisticians who are mature enough for sexual innuendo.

The game is a love-letter to classic RPGs of the SNES era as the CSM review states. I would like to point out, however, there is more sexual innuendo in the gam... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byzevion May 5, 2021

Subversive, Immersive and... third adjective that ends with "ive", this game has so much to give!

Legit, this game has so much good stuff. It's huge and open but easy to explore, its combat is simple and easy, but deep,its characters and voice acting ar... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byZoldyck June 2, 2020

One of my favorite video games

Octopath Traveler is an amazing game about 8 different characters and their separate storylines. Some tales are heartwarming, like Tressa’s journey to become “t... Continue reading

What's it about?

OCTOPATH TRAVELER -- as the name suggests -- is a role-playing game that lets players choose from eight different characters, each with a unique story and abilities, as you set out on a grand adventure. Reminiscent of classic fantasy role-playing games (RPGs) such as portable Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest (and even The Legend of Zelda) titles, the game offers turn-based combat, the ability to level up and equip yourself with better items, hundreds of characters to talk to (including allies to band with), locations to unlock, and items to find and use (and buy and sell). Each of the eight characters takes you down a different path in the same game universe. Whether you choose to specialize in swordplay, magic, thievery, or healing, it's up to you to chart each character's journey and determine the fate of this world.

Is it any good?

While this massive adventure takes some time to get into, the excellent story and deep gameplay will keep you exploring and fighting through its amazing world for dozens of hours. The turn-based combat in Octopath Traveler provides lots of depth: Players have different items and spells to use, combo attacks and chained moves, defensive maneuvers, and a Boost mode to unleash an even greater attack or give aid to allies. Players will have to determine which attacks are most effective on which enemies (e.g., considering vulnerabilities to fire or ice blasts). While combat starts off at a reasonable difficulty, it ramps up quickly -- boss fights can crush you quickly if you don't have a stockpile of healing and protective items. Couple this with the lack of health bars for enemies, forcing you to guess how much damage each will take to be defeated, and you'll quickly realize that this is a seriously tough game.

While you're roaming through towns, the countryside, and caves, you'll meet many people who may ask you to do something for them or join your party, and all your decisions will have lasting effects on the storyline. There are love interests, revenge-laden story paths, and tales of friendship, family, and loyalty. The dialogue can be pretty cheesy, including dramatic voice acting that might make you roll your eyes. And during combat, the lines you hear grow repetitive. But between the many characters you can play, deep turn-based gameplay, and huge environments to explore, Octopath Traveler is a great pocket-sized game from one of the best developers in the business. Players who love classic RPGs on Nintendo Game Boy or Nintendo 3DS will fall for the charm of this well-crafted, smoothly executed adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. How is the impact of the violence in Octopath Traveler affected by the small, pixelated graphics? What message does it send that conflict resolution is handled solely through combat?

  • What's the appeal of "retro" pixelated graphics in video games? Do you think that the classic visuals in Octopath Traveler allow the designers to focus more on telling an engaging story? Would the game be as engaging if it had current visuals?

  • How is the impact of helping others in need affected by the fact that you can only solve problems by fighting? Should characters who help people be rewarded with things?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love role-playing games

Themes & Topics

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