Parents' Guide to

Rusty Lake Paradise

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Creepy adventure, puzzles engaging, but not for young kids.

Game Mac, Windows 2018
Rusty Lake Paradise Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (3):

This is the third game in this creepy adventure series, continuing in the vein of that series' dark, unsettling themes, but it's one to keep away from little kids. The game starts harmlessly enough: Simple 2D artwork and a melodic keyboard-centric music score set you up for a nostalgic journey exploring a rustic island getaway. Then you land, and you're in the midst of a bizarre Twin Peaksian nightmare.

Rusty Lake Paradise explores the serious theme of sacrifice and loss through references to the biblical story of the Ten Plagues. Never an easy part of life, loss in this instance is shrouded in mystery; the hero revisits a childhood turned strange, where every person and every setting seems vaguely threatening. Family members act like wooden mannequins and make freakish requests. Fulfilling these requests has you doing things as innocuous as making ice cream and as brutal as killing small animals. You're also challenged to thoroughly explore every area (sometimes more than once) and to solve some truly unique puzzles. Puzzles are the game's strong point; though some contain more gross-out factor than they probably need, they're all cleverly conceived and uniquely presented. You're frequently unsure of what solving them will do, and that's part of the fun. The rest comes from the story's family mystery, the quirky, unexpected interactions, the emotionally evocative soundtrack, and the surreal, dreamlike imagery. Still, its grim themes, blood, and decidedly pessimistic ending make it a game that young children and those with weak stomachs should probably steer clear of.

Game Details

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