Secret of Mana

Game review by David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Secret of Mana Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 10+

Classic tale finds clumsy new life with occasional crashes.

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+

Based on 1 review

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Community Reviews

age 9+

An Inferior Update to a Whimsical Fantasy Wonderful for All Ages

During the summer after Elementary school, I was given a new game called Secret of Mana, and it was a blissful time. I mention that I was at the end of Elementary school because friends of mine (local kids) still in Elementary school, as well as a handful of other kids in Junior High, had this game as well, and it was universally loved, by kids from around 8 to around 14, and having replayed it again only a few years ago, I found it just as satisfying at 34. The story is a rather sweet one with elements such as respecting the balance of nature, the downfall of greed/lust for power, and while the plot itself is actually very straightforward, it's full of small imaginative flourishes that allow children to engage the story on its own terms. Throw in the fact that the controls were (and still are) incredibly tight and easy to manipulate, and a lively yet often times beautiful musical score (which has been updated to lesser effect). This remake keeps most of what was wonderful about the original game intact, but what's sad is how poorly it incorporates the new elements. The graphics look like a remake from 1999~2001 or so, the redone musical score, while sometimes grand, is often times less pleasant to listen to, and the voice acting during the voiced cutscenes is incredibly flat and one-note; the characters are largely one-dimensional, but their adventure does cover a number of emotional beats, and having the voice acting barely reflect any of this really dampens the experience. If possible, I would recommend the original for everyone, Kids 6 and up, but this one I'd recommend only as a backup, and recommend for 9 and up, simply because a couple of female characters are (almost randomly) dressed in risque outfits -- not nearly what you could imagine, but since the original game had nothing sexual in nature whatseover, the incorporation of PG-levels of sexuality is something to note for kids ages 6~8.

This title has:

Great messages
Easy to play/use

Game Details

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