Parents' Guide to

Pneuma: Breath of Life

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Vexing puzzler is safe for kids but could prove frustrating.

Game Mac, Windows, Xbox One 2015
Pneuma: Breath of Life Poster Image

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

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To say Pneuma: Breath of Life has niche appeal is a bit of an understatement. It will turn off different types of players for all sorts of reasons. Its puzzles are almost ridiculously easy to start, then suddenly become confoundingly challenging. Its motor-mouthed, British-accented protagonist's relentless ramblings about heady philosophical concepts can be difficult to digest. And a range of technical problems -- including a super slow default camera speed, music that can overpower key sound effects, and a lighting effect meant to mimic pupil constriction when moving from bright to dark areas (which ends up just making it hard to see anything) -- will leave some players gritting their teeth.

However, those who hang in there -- and who enjoy puzzle games that require patience, observation, and a bit of lateral thinking -- might have a delightful time. Some puzzles (especially those in the later chapters) are inspired and unlike anything most players will have come across before in a game. Plus, a surprise ending that perfectly ties all the protagonist's long-winded babbling together in a clever and perhaps even slightly disturbing way serves as a satisfying reward for all the hard puzzle-solving work it takes to get to the final scene. It's not likely to win any awards, but there's no denying Pneuma: Breath of Life has a spirit and flavor all its own.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows, Xbox One
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, defining problems, logic, solving puzzles
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Bevel Studios
  • Release date: February 27, 2015
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: NR
  • Last updated: October 30, 2019

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