Rise of Nightmares

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Rise of Nightmares Game Poster Image
Survival horror on Kinect where your actions do the killing.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This game does not provide positive messages to the player. You are killing hundreds of enemies from an immersive first-person perspective and by swinging your arms in front of the television in a realistic manner (such as jabbing a knife forward). The game also contains strong profanity, partial nudity, and suggestive dialogue.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Josh, who has a drinking problem (says his wife), seems like a good guy as he wants to find and rescue his wife from an evil scientist. But in doing so, he slices and dices undead humans using a number of different weapons he finds strewn throughout the creepy mansion.

Ease of Play

This game can be exceedingly difficult to control using your body. It can take a long while to become comfortable with the mechanics.


The survival horror game has you killing multiple human-like creatures with a number of melee weapons -- such as axes and chainsaws -- and you'll see blood spray, dismembered body parts, and decapitation. You'll also see corpses and blood on the ground, tortured people, and hear screams of pain. The game is not only played from a first-person perspective, but you're controlling it all using your hand and body movements so it creates a more visceral feeling that you are doing the violence.


Players will see female characters showing a lot of cleavage (or even pasties that cover the nipples) and one scene has a woman sit on your chest and talk dirty to you. Dialogue also refers to sex (e.g. "worst sex of my life").


While not often, you can hear strong profanity in the dialogue, including instances of "f--k" and "s--t."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There is an argument at the beginning of the game between the husband and wife about his excessive drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know RISE OF NIGHTMARES is most definitely not for children. The game is very gory and bloody and lets you kill, decapitate, and dismember many zombie-like humans using melee weapons. Parents should be aware players do the actions in front of the TV, such as lunging forward with a pretend knife in your hand, and the Kinect sensor has the character in the game perform it with the weapon. As such, players can feel as though they are doing the killing. The game also has profanity and scenes in with scantily dressed women who are engaging in sex talk.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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

Teen, 13 years old Written byIzzygamergirl December 26, 2020

Its for mature kids

There are a few dirty things but buts ok
Teen, 14 years old Written bySLENDER January 5, 2014



What's it about?

Sega's RISE OF NIGHTMARES is a \"survival horror\" game that uses the Kinect's wireless motion-sensing technology to traipse through a creepy Eastern European mansion, battle hoards of scary enemies, and solve puzzles. Played from a first-person perspective, the single-player game drops you into the role of a hapless American tourist, Josh, determined to rescue his wife, Kate, from the clutches of a mad scientist. To succeed in your mission, you'll navigate trap-laden halls and rooms, slice and dice disfigured humans, and look for clues that inch you closer to your kidnapped spouse -- all by moving your body and waving your hands in front of the television.

Is it any good?

Most people associate Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 peripheral with family-friendly games, such as Kinectimals or Kinect Adventures, but the popular $150 accessory –- which lets you use your body and voice to control video games –- is now being used to deliver spills, chills and thrills. However, in Rise of Nightmares, the awkward and sometimes clumsy controls will likely detract you from the simple-but-fun combat and deliciously dark atmosphere. You see, walking around the mansion using Kinect feels unnatural and stiff as you step forward to walk and turn your torso left and right to make Josh do the same. Once you get the hang of it, it works, but there are times when you need to move quickly out of the way to avoid spikes, blades, and other traps laid out by Viktor the scientist, and the limited control likely means an uncertain death. Stabbing, chain-sawing, and gouging these undead enemies can be fun, but expect to wince at the gory carnage. Because control will likely be an issue for many, Rise Of Nightmares is an experimental game that succeeds in concept but more or less fails in execution. The chilling imagery works and combat is decent, but walking around the game can be as painful as the carnage you inflict on baddies.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Sega crossed the line with this game. Is it OK to venture outside of the kid-friendly Kinect for Xbox 360 titles and offer a more mature experience for those who love horror movies? Or is this game worse than other survival horror titles because you're performing the motions in front of the television?


  • What is it about horror games that you find appealing?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Sega of America
  • Release date: September 6, 2011
  • Genre: Survival Horror
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate