Operencia: The Stolen Sun
By Chad Sapieha,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
First-person fantasy adventure has light splashes of blood.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Basic save-the-world fantasy tropes drive story forward. Themes of friendship and destiny run through the narrative.
Positive Role Models
Each hero is complex with mix of traits. Some seem greedy, self-centered, eager to fight, but they tend to do the right thing when push comes to shove. The player's avatar -- whose gender and appearance can be customized -- is generally the conscience of the group.
Ease of Play
Players can adjust various difficulty options (such as whether to enable permanent death) at game's outset, but parts of the experience -- including puzzles -- remain challenging regardless of settings. Tutorials provide detailed explanations of game mechanics, but mastering combat and character growth takes time.
Violence & Scariness
Turn-based first-person combat against fantasy creatures such as skeletons and dragons involves medieval weapons (swords, hammers, shields, bows) and magic. Splashes of blood sometimes accompany successful strikes. Enemies disappear once defeated.
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Players will encounter occasional mild language in text and spoken dialogue, including the word "pissing."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Operencia: The Stolen Sun is a first-person role-playing game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs with turn-based combat. Players control a group of up to four heroes that explore a fantasy-themed world, fighting skeletons, dragons, and other creatures using swords, hammers, bows, and magical attacks. Successful strikes occasionally result in small splashes of blood, and enemies disappear once defeated. The heroes are a motley bunch with a variety of traits, some good and some bad, but they generally come around when it really matters to do the right thing and help their friends combat the evil invading the world. Parents should also be aware that this can be a fairly challenging game -- especially some of its contextual puzzles -- that requires patience and strategy to succeed. There's also some mild language, such as "pissing," that pops up in dialogue.
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Operencia: The Stolen Sun
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What’s It About?
OPERENCIA: THE STOLEN SUN drops players into an imaginative fantasy world on the verge of falling into darkness. It's filled with mythical creatures, battle-hardened warriors, and a handful of recognizable real-life characters -- such as Attila the Hun. After a playable prologue that sets the stage, players begin by creating a humble hero who sets out for adventure. The game's broken into distinct levels, such as an underwater castle and a metallic forest, and each level tells a specific chapter of the tale. Successfully navigating your way through a level typically requires solving multiple contextual puzzles and looking for keys used to unlock doors. Useful items and treasure chests can be found along the way. When an enemy shows up, a strategic turn-based battle starts, allowing players to pause to consider how to proceed before choosing actions -- melee attacks, ranged attacks, healing, defense, and more -- for each of their characters. As the game progresses, players gradually expand their parties and grow their characters, developing unique skills and equipping better weapons and armor with which to face the increasingly challenging hordes.
Is It Any Good?
This should prove a tasty little treat for anyone looking for a throwback to first-person dungeon crawlers of days gone by. Operencia: The Stolen Sun skips twitchy and sensational real-time combat for classic turn-based battles that force players to consider enemy strengths, immunities, and positions on the battlefield in order to create effective offensive and defensive strategies based on the current party members' abilities. Success depends on developing a group of heroes with a broad array of abilities so that you can exploit weaknesses and use the proper weapons and spells for enemies located near or far. A well-managed team will let you dispatch most enemies quickly and efficiently, while a poorly constructed party will result in battles stretching on, draining health and resources along the way. Combat starts off in forgiving fashion as players learn the ropes, but it doesn't take long before you're required to start making smart decisions or suffer the consequences.
When not in battle, players will explore the world and set themselves to solving any contextual puzzles they might find, which can involve tasks such as throwing switches in a specific order to open and close gates, or finding weights to weigh down a lever. Some areas force players to exercise patience and pay attention to details. Scanning the environment for useful items is key, as is thinking about all of the tools and abilities at your disposal. But making things needlessly difficult is a strange and seemingly unnecessary tile-based first-person movement system that restricts your ability to roam, making it hard to get close to and identify some objects. If you can grow accustomed to this quirk, there's plenty of old-school dungeon crawling fun to be had. Operencia: The Stolen Sun has a great cast of characters, some truly imaginative levels, and a strategic and compelling combat system that should serve as a refreshing antidote for fantasy RPG (role-playing game) fans who've grown tired of reflex-based real-time fighting.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about screen time. Operencia: The Stolen Sun is a level-based game, but some of its levels can last several hours. How do you decide when you should take a break? Have you ever gotten sore from sitting in one spot and playing a game for too long?
What do some of the best, longest lasting stories have in common that makes them entertaining and relevant across generations, centuries, and even millennia?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Zen Studios
- Release date: March 31, 2020
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, History, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Violence
- Last updated: March 27, 2020
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