A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Doing good deeds, being a positive force is point behind themes of friendship, family, protecting, helping those in need, fighting forces of evil.
Positive Role Models
Shantae puts needs of others before her own, acts as guardian of her village, follows her heritage as "daughter of the genies," works to protect her homes from threats.
Ease of Play
Simple controls; easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Enemies use all sorts of weapons, magic against Shantae, her friends, including guns, swords, spells. Shantae's main attack is swinging her hair at foes, using a belly-dancing move to distract foes, transform into different creatures. Animated presentation lessens impact of violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Female characters shown in revealing outfits; occasional mild sexual tongue-in-cheek comments, including characters encouraging Shantae to "shake those hips!"
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Products & Purchases
Latest entry in Shantae franchise, funded with fan support from successful Kickstarter campaign.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a side-scrolling action/adventure platform game. There's a steady stream of action and violence, but its cartoonish style is more akin to a Saturday-morning cartoon and lacks any sort of blood or gore. There are some slightly suggestive themes, including characters presented in somewhat revealing outfits and dance moves similar to those of a belly dancer.
Is It Any Good?
This animated action platformer has finally been updated with HD graphics but keeps its classic platforming elements to draw in and entertain gamers. Shantae has never looked as good as she does in Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. The hand-drawn animation is bright, colorful, and fluid. Regardless of how much is happening on-screen or how big the visuals get (and there are some pretty big boss fights), the performance never skips a beat. The result is that it looks almost like you're playing a Saturday-morning cartoon. The only thing that ruins the illusion is the baffling decision to not include any voice-overs, pulling the player out of the experience to read through line after line of scripted dialogue.
Gameplay is easy to pick up and play and should be instantly familiar to platformer fans. Basic run, jump, and attack gameplay is bolstered by a surprising amount of exploration. As the story unfolds, Shantae gains the ability to morph into a variety of animals, each with their own unique abilities to reach previously unexplored areas. This backtracking to previous areas can occasionally feel a little repetitive, but the game does such a great job of keeping the story moving along and changing things up that it never feels frustrating or stale. Overall, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a great, classic style of platform game filled with unique characters, as well as a look and story that's sure to keep players entertained from start to finish.
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.