Parents' Guide to

Printed Mars

By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Quirky postapocalyptic adventure is both fun, confusing.

Game Mac, Windows 2015
Printed Mars Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a very strange game that's intentionally terse and unhelpful, though so beautiful and charmingly written that it's worth sticking with -- especially since, if you really don't want to, you don't have to pay for the game. (Though you should donate some money, since a game this strange and interesting has been made by one person completely of his own volition.) As such, it's hard to chart this on a good/bad binary, since this is a quirky game that's kind of both at the same time. The challenge and vagueness about where you should be going, when, and why is going to be a huge deterrent for players less familiar with the genre, and even aficionados are likely to be turned off by the sheer amount of rope you're given: From the outset, when you wake up, you can pretty much go anywhere you want to. But knowing why and what to do is completely up to you. For example, you may go a few hours before you realize you were given the password for an important terminal early in the game. You may also acquire a lot of items such as mushrooms and keys without knowing where or how to use them.

Of course, you'll know what your tolerance for confusion is and should know there's plenty of it with this game. But the weird, warped, decaying VHS visuals are truly stunning. Plus, the terse few sentences characters say are jarringly charming and funny -- in contrast with the bleak, though pretty landscapes -- so it makes the experience of stumbling around much more palatable. You won't always be stumbling in Printed Mars, but you definitely will be spending a lot of your time in that mode.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Pricing structure: Free to try
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Vladimir Storm
  • Release date: August 26, 2015
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: October 12, 2021

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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.

See how we rate