A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Saving an innocent unbalanced by quest for revenge.
Positive Role Models
Though he uses violence to get revenge, our hero is also trying to save a baby.
Ease of Play
While basic controls familiar, difficulty, complexity make this more than a simple arcade game.
Violence & Scariness
Players use their spiked hand to slice, skewer, decapitate dozens of enemies. Copious amounts of blood is spilled, while limbs, heads are severed.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shadow of the Beast is a downloadable action game that's very violent; you hack and slash your enemies to pieces, painting the floor with their blood. Armed with spiked hands that make you look like Wolverine, you slice and dice your way through dozens upon dozens of creatures, all of whom will smack you to death given half a chance. The game also features disturbing imagery in the designs of the bug- and lizard-like creatures, as well as the hero, who looks like one of the aliens from Aliens with a big freaky grin on his face. Controls are simple, but game difficulty could frustrate some players.
Is It Any Good?
Though it's violent and bloody, this remake of a 1989 cult classic will appeal to fans of 2-D, side-scrolling, hack-and-slash action games both old and new. Well, not too new; Shadow of the Beast isn't for anyone who hasn't been alive for 18 years and maybe not even more than that if they're disturbed by weird-looking creatures slicing up other weird-looking creatures while blood splatters everywhere. It's also not for someone looking for a simplistic arcade game or something super easy. Players only have 10 health points at any given time, and while you can restore your health through various means -- including by doing a special killing move -- that may not help given how your enemies will attack you from all sides. The game also has you using your hand spikes to climb up and slide down cliffs and has you using switches and teleportation portals to figure out how to get past obstacles before time runs out and everything resets. It's just too bad some of the big, bad bosses you fight are so easily defeated or that the game's penchant for awarding you points distracts from the engaging story. What's cool about this version is it not only includes the original game and a modified version of the original that has unlimited lives but also the option to play the new game with the old game's music. Shadow of the Beast will appeal to action fans looking for a challenge, with a healthy dose of the strange.
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.