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Parents' Guide to


By Jeremy Gieske, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

We predict you'll love this quirky, creative game.

Game Windows , Xbox 2005
Psychonauts Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

My favorite game!

Psychonauts is an amazing game! The game play is very fun with its platforming, fighting style, and puzzles! The game has fantastic humor but yeah, is pretty crude and at times mean. Mean as in teasing and wtf humor, it's done well, but may not be the best for little kids. It's witty, charming, and creative. Whether or not your kid should play it is really up to you. If you're the kind of parent to let your kids watch Beetlejuice then it should be cool. It's around the same maturity (probably a little less so honestly).
age 12+
Psychonauts was a creative gem, and despite some gameplay/handling issues (the controls got iffy from time to time) it was as fun as a particularly crazy barrel of monkeys. Perhaps a mom or two might get mad about drugs, violence, and some of the adults giving bad advice, but may I remind that the real worlds had some drugs, violence, and adults giving bad advice? Sure, Shasha Nein smokes, but so does 1 person out of every twenty that you run into on the street, and they're REAL PEOPLE. Sure, you set fire to the squirrels, but it was meant in humor. Sure, Nills is OBESSED with women, but at the age that guys notice girls exist, what guy ISN'T obsessed with the ladies? There's some language, but only a peppering, and you can't have game today that doesn't have you destorying your enemey unless you're playing a puzzel game or, heaven forbid, the Sims. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Psychonauts was amazing, dazzling, and so close to perfection you can taste it in the last controller-splitting moments of the game when you're wondering just which way is up. A child should not have to miss out on this work of art because their mom thought their kids would then go out and try to light squirrels on fire with their minds. This game reaches out to those who can take the joke and laugh at the somewhat twisted and totally original humor. If you let your kid watch Invader Zim, you can probably let them play this game. If you were disgusted when Zim started torturing kids to pick a 'best friend' you'll concider this a blemish to mondern socity.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (11 ):

Psychonauts deserves praise for its original story and interesting character development, along with some engaging puzzles. It is filled with psychological terms: For example, players need to find the luggage tags to pieces of "emotional baggage," or they need to clear out "mental cobwebs" while avoiding "personal demons." But it can be dark and disturbing. This is a good choice for teens (and parents) looking for a change of pace.

The characters, while cartoons, are creepy-looking and usually pretty odd, and the camp bullies are mean and cruel. Adult role models do not always send a positive message: A camp director tells Raz he should use his ability to ignite objects only when it's really important -- or entertaining. Characters soon learn that they can cause all sorts of objects to start on fire, including animals. After igniting a squirrel or seagull, Raz makes distasteful comments like, "You had that coming" or, "See you in hell."

Game Details

  • Platforms: Windows , Xbox
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Majesco
  • Release date: April 20, 2005
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: T
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

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