A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Grim, unclear, but message seems to be to protect, preserve the environment.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, easy to learn.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rituals is a downloadable adventure that's bursting with symbolism, not really what you would traditionally think of as a video game. An attentive player might blow through it in an hour, but this isn't a game meant to be torn through. Instead, you're supposed to quietly consider the plot as you progress. There are only a handful of puzzles, but as they unravel, the world gets stranger and stranger -- the sort of thing that will stick with you for a while.
Is It Any Good?
Rituals is fascinating and strange, and whether a younger player will enjoy it will have everything to do with his or her patience for things that don't readily offer answers. If you enjoy piecing together context clues and puzzling over them, as you might have with Twin Peaks, then you'll thoroughly enjoy this. It lasts about an hour and encourages multiple play-throughs, as you'll undoubtedly miss stuff your first and second times through -- though, unlike other games, it's short enough that trekking through again doesn't feel like an enormous task. That alone is worth some praise.
Also worth praise is the game at large. It's so unusual yet straightforward, and the world feels both so sparse and yet fully realized (the sound design in particular -- each environment feels full even if it's been abandoned), that it's difficult not to get sucked in. The game is short, puzzling, and eerie. It's both similar to and unlike other point-and-click adventures, where the focus here is just making a few decisions and being observational enough to scoop up a handful of items -- a stark difference from earlier genre titles where you had to compulsively pick up anything not nailed down and try infinite combinations of everything everywhere to move forward. This isn't like that. This is much more thoughtful, focused, and poignant. Definitely worth a look.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.