Psychonauts

Game review by
Jeremy Gieske, Common Sense Media
Psychonauts Game Poster Image
We predict you'll love this quirky, creative game.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Raz is taught to deal with his fears (albeit sometimes in a humorous way), but some questionable things are presented in the name of fun -- such as burning animals.

Violence

Raz can use a number of attacks to damage or kill enemies: He can "shoot" them with pyschic blasts; use pyrokinesis to start fires, and telekinesis to throw objects or enemies.

Sex

One child is determined to "see the ladies" through a peephole in the camp cabin. When Raz enquires further, the child advises Raz that his parents let him see R-rated movies and that he knows a lot more than Raz about these things.

Language

Minor profane language used sporadically.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Agent Nein is briefly shown smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is witty, creative, and at times extremely funny. But its scary-looking, bizarre, and sometimes cruel characters make it inappropriate for younger children. There are also some references to tobacco use and some negative social behaviors that are encouraged by adult characters.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLoorTheDarkElf July 5, 2009
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... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 5, 2012

Psychonauts: Amazing game, but pause for younger kids

First off, Psychonauts is an AMAZING game. I am having so much fun with it I can't even begin to tell you. The only problem I have had with the game so far... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bymovieman09 April 9, 2008

Incredible

Psychonauts is probably one of the best games....ever. I actually almost like it more than Halo2. THe style and animations/graphics in the game are awesome and... Continue reading

What's it about?

In PSYCHONAUTS, players take the role of Razputin, or Raz for short -- a not-so-subtle reference to the famous Russian mystic Rasputin. Desperate to become a world-famous Psychonaut agent, Raz runs away from home, which happens to be the circus, and his overbearing father, who doesn't approve of Raz's psychic abilities. Raz escapes to the one place where he can learn how to use his powers and become an international secret psychic agent: Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp.

At the camp, Raz meets many strange and unique characters, each of whom will help him develop his skills as a psychic. However, the longer Raz stays at the camp, the more he realizes something is amiss -- someone or something is attempting to take over the camp, and in the process is stealing his fellow campmate's brains. Raz soon finds himself as the only one who can save the day.

Is it any good?

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."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes this game entertaining. How is it different from other games you play -- and how is it the same? Why do you think there are so many copycat games -- instead of truly unique games, like this one?

Game details

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