A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Rogue Legacy is about perseverance, strategy, and exhibiting a great amount of patience. The messages are masked by the game's entertainment value and a player's need to work through a level and reap the rewards at the end of it.
Positive Role Models
The characters are culled from the family tree of a noble clan whose head was dispatched by an assassin. At its core, the game is about vengeance, but the family members are quirky and come with their own special abilities. Some are a bit silly, such as the character who leaves black puffs of something in his wake, whereas others have powerful spells that can dispatch foes from a distance. Though not intentionally positive, hero goals can be construed as honorable.
Ease of Play
Rogue Legacy is very easy to navigate, with a control scheme that's easy to grasp. That said, it's very challenging, and players will die a lot; expect to run through a lot of characters in your family tree as you try to get stronger, dive deeper into the castle, and defeat monsters, especially in the early levels of the game.
Violence & Scariness
The playable characters in Rogue Legacy will and do die, and they can't be resurrected. Fortunately, there are lots of members of the family tree. The characters will use swords to hack at ghosts and a variety of other menacing enemies (such as knights) and will have to dodge fireballs, throw blades, and use other weapons in their quest. The violence is cartoonish; there's no blood, and when the health bar is gone, players return to the main screen to select the next family member to throw at the game's changing levels.
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Rogue Legacy is text-driven with story points and some amusing character comments, but it's nothing that would constitute swearing.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rogue Legacy is a downloadable adventure title that's very challenging, yet it instills a sense of perseverance, dedication, and patience within the player as he or she fights through the randomized dungeon levels. It's easy to pick up but hard to master, and gamers will find that they will lose many characters thanks to the game's difficulty. Violence is prevalent but cartoonish, without any blood shown. Rogue Legacy can be downloaded to one of the host platforms -- Vita, PS4, or PS3; the game then saves and can be accessed on any of the other systems.
Is It Any Good?
Rogue Legacy is very old-school -- and therefore a bit of a history lesson for younger players. But in many ways this isn't a two-dimensional, side-scrolling platformer. The publishers have amped up the challenge and the entertainment value. Playing upside down is a hoot, and some of the other "quirks" the family tree brings to the fore can add challenges and fun to the game. The randomly generated levels ensure replayability.
Player characters will die, which requires patience when you find yourself back at the start, but this isn't entirely like starting all over. You pay coins you've acquired during previous explorations to reenter the castle, and each time you go back in, the playable hero is stronger. The different character classes add variety to the mix. This is a solid and entertaining title that will challenge, elicit laughter, and bring back fond memories for old-school gamers.
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.