A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rebel Galaxy is a downloadable space adventure. Even though there's a degree of action with spaceships shooting at each other, there's no gore or blood shown with these ship explosions. Besides, this is a game largely about exploring space and seeking out tasks. Combat, at first, is largely avoided but increasingly becomes inescapable. It isn't an out-and-out action game but one in which you'll explore alliances, figure out what you think is the best course of action, and then live with the consequences (if there are any). Some pilots drink alcohol, but it's not glorified in any way. Players may also find themselves annoyed by the difficulty in easily controlling their way through a world or directing their ship exactly where they'd like it to go.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In REBEL GALAXY, you learn that your lost Aunt Juno has left a ship for you at the very edge of the universe. She's disappeared, and you can try to find her or use your inherited vehicle for whatever purpose you see best. You can choose to investigate what happened to your aunt or go off in another direction to join alliances or become a bounty hunter, a pirate, or a trader. Or you can choose to do all of them, in hopes of a much better family reunion.
Is it any good?
Because this space adventure game is so open-ended (which is sort of its point), the overall act of playing it can feel aimless. Not that there isn't a lot to do. It's that you'll be spending as much time looking for something to do as you will be doing that something. Your usual activity is going from outpost to outpost, looking for jobs and dealing with any would-be attackers while en route. Space itself is deceptively not as huge as it seems, and though there's a lot to explore, the y-axis doesn't exist when you're in your ship, which means everything is in front of or behind you, so there's far less maneuverability in things such as combat or just trying to wander around. Similarly, there are hints of depth but difficulty in fully appreciating or grasping how to make the most of doing trader-like activities. There's a bustling commodities market, which you can try to manipulate to your advantage by blasting ships with certain cargo aboard, but there's also no way to tell how long prices will stay what they are or how long a single day in the game happens to be.
You can fall off the deep end trying to figure those sorts of things out, but it's clear that Rebel Galaxy is meant for more casual play. The combat is fun, but since you can't really maneuver or tell whether another ship is a threat or strategize accordingly until you're locked in battle, it's clear these experiences and others are meant more for popping in and poking around than sessions that last for hours. There's a ton to do -- you can upgrade your ship, become a space pirate, build your own trading route, try to find your aunt -- but none of it has a lot of staying power. This game is best enjoyed in short bursts and not thought about too deeply.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about helping others. Would you do a favor for a stranger? When would you not do it?
If someone offers to make you a deal so that you can get out of doing something you said you'd do, would you take him or her up on it? What about if nobody would never know?
- Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Double Damage Games
- Release date: October 20, 2015
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Pirates, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Drug Reference, Language
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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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.