A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rad Rodgers is a platform shooter available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. Although the game's style is that of a colorful, kid-friendly title, it's actually more a parody of classic video games and is geared toward adults. That means there's no shortage of crude jokes, frequent profanity, and even splatters of blood. While the swearing and the blood can be turned off in the game's options, there are still more than a few comments and jokes that are intended for mature gamers.
What's it about?
RAD RODGERS is the timeless tale of adventure between a mischievous, unruly kid and his sarcastic, foul-mouthed video game console brought to life. OK, so maybe it's not exactly a "timeless tale," but the rest of that is pretty on the nose. After one too many nights of sneaking in some extra game time, Rad wakes up to find himself in a world that's not his own but seems oddly familiar. That's when Dusty, Rad's obsolete ... er, make that "retro" ... gaming console clues him in that they've been sucked into a video game. Now it's up to the duo to use Rad's elite gaming skills and Dusty's unique pixel hacking skills to become the heroes of this weird new game adventure and hopefully find a way back to the real world where they belong.
Is it any good?
Most people are happy to find a little escapism in video games, but what happens when the world you escape to doesn't quite connect, even with its bright colors and shiny effects? That's one of the biggest hurdles facing Rad Rodgers. The game suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. One the one hand, it works hard to faithfully re-create the feel of a classic platform adventure game. But on the other hand, it spends as much time and effort sarcastically mocking nearly everything it's trying to emulate. While it's got the look and style of a kid's game, the constant flow of crude humor ensures that it's absolutely not for kids.
If you break down the individual elements of Rad Rodgers, there nothing that's particularly bad about the game, but there's not much that really stands out, either. The visuals are bright and colorful with plenty of detail. But they can also be a bit busy, making it difficult to tell what's part of the environment that you can interact with and what's just background material. The gameplay is very arcade-like, easy to pick up and dive into, but also fairly repetitive. And as far as the sound? Hearing some of the one-liners and quips between Dusty and Rad are funny the first few times, but after hearing the same jokes for the umpteenth time, things can get a bit stale. In fact, that sums up Rad Rodgers in a nutshell. It's great for those with a taste for some quick action and crude laughs, but it loses flavor a bit too quickly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about mature content in media. What are some examples of how mature content in games like Rad Rodgers is presented in games, TV, film, etc.? How can that content affect younger viewers, and what can parents do to minimize that impact?
Talk about how style and design can mislead audiences. What are some shows or games today that appear kid-friendly but actually aren't? What are some things parents can look for to avoid exposing young kids to mature content wrapped in a seemingly age-appropriate package?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: THQ Nordic
- Release date: February 21, 2018
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Mild Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Violence
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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.