Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor

Game review by
Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Game Poster Image
Well-written RPG can be both frightening and sad.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

While the text you read from the demons is sometimes downright terrifying, the message overall is that good can triumph over evil - if you try hard enough.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While the human characters suffer from teen angst, they all work together to get Tokyo back to normal by ridding it of demons.

Ease of Play

Medium to hard. Those who are familiar with the gameplay of an RPG, the fighting system and moving on a grid will feel right at home. For those new to this genre, there’s a 40-page manual to help.


The violence is mainly with animated sprites and isn’t too real looking. You will fight demons in turn-based combat. You will occasionally see a pool of blood beneath vanquished foes.


You'll see some bouncing of partially covered breasts and some tight, skimpy outfits on the female demons as well.


Mild language including "damn," "hell," "ass," and "prick."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that compelling role-playing game can be frightening. It has mild violence, a little bad language, and some scantily clad demons, but it is the well-crafted story that is both scary and depressing that pushes this game's appropriateness into the teen range.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHolly R. July 20, 2019

I played the rerelease on the 3DS...

I had the 3DS version of the game (with voice overs) and it is very sad. Like the main series, it has Satanic imagery. I never actually finished the game but I... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byFunHorror December 31, 2009

Give it to a teenager/adult who likes RPG's, but not to children.

...Eh. Pretty dead-on, but calling it "teen angst" implies that the main concern is something trivial, which is simply not the case. You'd be pre... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bysarmed August 21, 2009
i love it

What's it about?

The Shin Megami Tensei series of role playing games have always been full of amazing gameplay - along with some psychologically affecting stories. SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI: DEVIL SURVIVOR takes place in Tokyo where demons have been unleashed upon various districts in the city. It's up to you to vanquish them or conquer and use them to get to the bottom of a mystery that threatens you and the city in which you live.

Is it any good?

You don't use the DS stylus much in the game, but it doesn't matter because the story is so eerily compelling. Plus the gameplay makes hours go by quickly. What hits home as too real is that a DS-like device is used to summon demons. This is the kind of thing that can play with your mind and seem real in the dark of night. The turn-based battle system on a grid is somewhat difficult to get used to, especially for newbies. But the manual should aid even the helpless in learning the game. Then, you can spend hours upon hours leveling up (getting stronger) and freeing your city from its horrible spell and horrid monsters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Did this game scare you? Was it too scary? Why or why not?

  • Did traveling through Tokyo make you want to visit the city? Why or why not?

  • Of the various teen heroes, who did you identify with most? What does that say about your personality?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $29,99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release date: June 23, 2009
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Blood, Partial Nudity
  • Last updated: December 13, 2019

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