Parents' Guide to

P.A.M.E.L.A.

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violent pandemic survival in futuristic (and glitchy) world.

Game Windows 2017
P.A.M.E.L.A. Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Even in the glitzy and glamorous neon paradise of a high-tech utopia, just surviving to see another day can be a gritty and grueling task. At least that's the case in P.A.M.E.L.A., the futuristic survival horror game. One thing is certain: You're going to die … many, many times and in many, many ways. You might be ripped apart by mutants limb from limb, you may be considered a threat by a robot, or you could simply die of hunger and dehydration. No matter how you go, the fact remains that you will have to learn from your mistakes. The game features a permadeath gameplay style, meaning that when you die in the game, you immediately take over as a new resident brought out of cryosleep to try to survive the horrors of Eden. All your weapons and inventory are gone, but you're not quite a blank slate. Your experience, abilities, and currency carry over from the previous life. Still, at least at the start, it can be a very frustrating, repetitive experience, especially when you think you've finally made some significant progress, only to die and start over because of some random, procedurally generated threat. This happens less and less as you get more abilities, but it never stops that pain of losing everything you worked so hard to build.

It's easy to toss someone into the unknown and just tell them "don't die," but the reality of the situation is much more complex. There's a lot the player has to manage at any given time. Your inventory space is limited, your resources are sparse, you need to manage the city's power grid to help keep your makeshift camp(s) operational, and you need to keep a constant eye on your health to make sure you don't drop dead at a moment's notice. All of this is happening on top of combat. If the clunky combat controls are any indication, the folks in Eden cryosleep chambers aren't exactly trained fighters. Trying to fend off attackers feels sluggish and, many times, is barely effective. Even at higher levels, it's too easy to get swarmed, overpowered, and otherwise slaughtered. Right now, though, the biggest threat you'll face isn't death. After all, death is easy … it's the glitches that are rough. Couple excruciatingly long load times with freezing and game-ending crashes, and it sometimes feels like you're spending more time in load screens than actually playing. Make no mistake, though -- when the game is running on all cylinders, it's an amazing experience not like anything else in the genre. There's just still a decent bit of work that needs to be done to make the technical aspects of the game as pristine as the city of Eden used to be.

Game Details

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