Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Game Poster Image

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor



Well-written RPG can be both frightening and sad.

What parents need to know

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

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."

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.

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.

Families can talk 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
Available online?Not available online
Release date:June 23, 2009
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:T for Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Blood, Partial Nudity

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Teen, 14 years old Written bysarmed August 21, 2009
i love it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byHowBoutDemApples May 16, 2013

Good but not for kids.

Great. Like the review said, some skimpy outfits on the demons and blood puddles underneath people who die (they disappear quickly though, leaving no graphic images). They use sh** and bi*** and bas**** but only when they are angry. The positive message is that you aren't bound by fate. Overall one of the best games i've played with an amazing story. The plot is a little creepy if you imagine yourself in their situation, but it's great nonetheless. The battle system is fun and classic too.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
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 pretty shocked/sad too if you were locked inside the Yamanote Circle by the government, demons were attacking you, and you could see that nobody trapped with you has long to live. Devil Survivor does contain information on landmarks within the Yamanote Circle, but keep in mind that the story doesn't focus as much on the setting as much as, say, The World Ends With You. Moving right along, it's shockingly easy for an Atlus game, (which is to say that the difficulty is about average) so younger players can grasp it pretty readily. For a game where you tame demons, it actually isn't so scary, since many of the more creepy-looking demons have hilarious messages. (For example, Kikimoras are the spirits of unbaptized children/aborted fetuses, and they look a tad freaky in-game, but their messages in the Devil Auction are mostly about their love of Dia, which is a healing spell.) There are some good role models in the game, but keep in mind that this is a Megaten game, so there will be no shortage of moral ambiguity. All in all, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone under 13. The setting is somewhat grim and the monsters can get both cute and disturbing, so it's not a great idea to give this to a kid.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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