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Parents' Guide to

Shadowrun Returns

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Smart but mature strategy RPG has sex, swearing, and blood.

Game Mac , Windows 2013
Shadowrun Returns Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Entertaining futuristic film-noir adventure, but not for kids.

In this game, the player takes on the role of a futuristic mercenary who can use magic or technology to fight various ne'er-do-wells. It is absolutely not for the younger set. Much like the film noir tales that inspired it, Shadowrun Returns is a complex game with a very grey system of morality. Players can opt to shoot their way through a problem or talk their way around it. References to drugs and sex are fairly common, but again, part of the milieu of the game - the protagonist is essentially a futuristic Sam Spade, hired to solve a grisly murder. To that end, the player encounters sex workers, drug addicts, and various other questionable characters, some of which are very thinly sketched, others are given motivation and explanation for their actions. There's blood and guts and carnage and some body-horror type content, but for a sufficiently mature player, the experience is overall extremely rewarding, with a thoughtful (if extremely linear) plot and challenging action sequences. To that end, I wouldn't say there's "too much" sex/violence/swearing, because again, this is absolutely not a children's game. If you're interested in a game in the style and tradition of the Baldur's Gate series (or the first two Fallout games), then this is absolutely worth the money. But I wouldn't give it to anyone under 15, for sure.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

It's clear that the team of indie game makers who built Shadowrun Returns put a lot of love and effort into this game. The futuristic world is loaded with bits of detail, and the many-branched dialogue trees are bursting with interesting conversations and ideas. Time spent exploring and investigating is rarely dull, thanks to no shortage of objects to investigate and interesting characters to chat with. That players get to mold their character as they like through the decisions they make is the sugar on top.

The combat doesn't quite live up to the conversations, but it's still pretty fun. Battles tend to be a little too short and easy, especially at the start, but as the game progresses and players earn more abilities and additional gear and weapons it slowly grows more sophisticated and satisfying. It's not quite up to the lofty standard set last fall by XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but Shadowrun Returns is nonetheless multifaceted and enjoyable little game of role-playing and turn-based tactics.

Game Details

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