Parents' Guide to


By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Pixelated post-apocalyptic action offers steep challenge.

ScourgeBringer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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There's recently been a resurgence in popularity of old school, retro-styled action games that can challenge the skills and reflexes of even the best gamers. ScourgeBringer isn't just the latest game to follow this formula, it's also one of the best, scratching almost every itch fans of the genre have been craving. For starters, this is a difficult game and players are going to die … a lot. If this was in an arcade, it would have an insatiable appetite for quarters. And with its randomly generated maps, each new life means starting a chapter fresh with new surprises around every corner. Thankfully, the developers decided to have a little mercy on players, offering options in the Settings to adjust everything from the reducing the enemies' rate of fire or overall game speed to increasing the player's life or even making them totally invulnerable. Admittedly, this last option is a bit of a cop out and will disable achievements, but it's also a nice way for newer players to acclimate themselves to the overall pace of the game before trying it out on the default settings.

ScourgeBringer's story is a bit clichéd, but it does provide at least a bit of motivation for players to be hacking and slashing their way through the ancient structure. Just don't try to make sense of everything, as there's a lot of the plot that feels like its missing. What it lacks in story, though, it more than makes up for in style. Its bright colors and pixelated style feel perfectly suited to the classic gameplay. If there's one real flaw to be found, it's that it can get quite repetitive in longer sessions. This is especially true when facing down some of the more challenging bosses. After all, losing a life means restarting the chapter and working your way all the way back to where you were, only to get knocked out again and starting the cycle over. It does make for a real sense of accomplishment when players advance deeper, but it can be frustrating and maddening in the long stints between successes.

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