Slender: The Arrival

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Slender: The Arrival Game Poster Image
Terrifyingly spooky indie game delivers blood-free horror.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 52 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Slender: The Arrival wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

The game's purpose is to entertain through thrills and fright. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The player's character demonstrates courage and perseverance as she attempts to learn what happened to her friend, and she never uses violence. However, her decision to investigate her friend's disappearance herself rather than contact authorities is questionable. 

Ease of Play

This is a challenging game made slightly more difficult by occasionally frustrating controls (opening doors by moving the mouse forward or back can be a real pain). Even skilled players can expect to fail each level a couple of times, making tenacity a requirement.

Violence

A combination of screams, spooky sounds, dramatic lighting, and creepy drawings/writing scratched onto walls makes for a truly terrifying atmosphere. Little violence is depicted on screen (the husk of a burned body is shown near the end of the game), but the black screen that results when caught by the Slender Man implies that the player's avatar is killed. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Slender: The Arrival is a very scary horror game in which the player takes on the role of a woman investigating what happened to her friend in a rural wilderness. While there is little in the way of actual violence (the burned husk of a body appears near the game's end), the game keeps players on the edge of their seats as they're accosted by a terrifying soundtrack and frightening images, including the ghost-like shape of a tall man and a hooded figure that chases them. Even adults are likely to be stressed and startled by what they see.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 12 year old Written byStephen the great April 17, 2013

!

Very scary game with no violence
Parent of a 11 and 12 year old Written byTheReviewist February 5, 2016

Great Game For Preteens and Up

This game is very scary, but not that violent. If you have ever heard of the Five Nights at Freddy's series, it's similar to that. In Slender The Arri... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byDavidHi April 16, 2013

Fantastically terrifying, but definitely doesn't deserve the "no kids" rating

I will admit, this game is terrifying. I had to shut off the game several times just to regain some sanity... however, the "No kids" rating is absolut... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 2, 2013

JUMPSCARES GALORE!

This game is HIGHLY scary for children 10 and under! Violence is more like some blood/gore but the horror may be enough to scare an adult! Parents should be str... Continue reading

What's it about?

SLENDER: THE ARRIVAL, a slightly bigger-budgeted reimagining of 2012 indie hit Slender: The Eight Pages, puts players in the shoes of a woman named Lauren intent on finding her friend Kate. The game begins with Lauren arriving at Kate's house in the woods to find her missing and her things in disarray. Discovering a series of notes and clues that suggest Kate may have been in a state of panic before leaving, Lauren picks up a flashlight and heads out into the forest determined to learn what happened to her. The short but terrifying adventure that follows sees Lauren -- armed only with a flashlight and video camera -- investigating pitch black woods and buildings with objectives such as finding scattered pages or turning on generators. Always on her trail is a ghostly, horrific figure called the Slender Man. He appears frequently, causing the player's screen to distort and go static-y. If he catches you the game ends and the level is reset.

Is it any good?

It doesn't last more than a couple of hours, but those two hours may be among the scariest you ever spend sitting in front of a computer. Creepy, dramatically lit environments combine with a terrifying soundtrack that deftly mixes chirping crickets with blaring feedback to create an extremely chilling atmosphere. The fact that you can't fight back but instead only run or occasionally blind your pursuers with your flashlight only serves to heighten the fear.

However, some players may get frustrated by the game's high level of difficulty and repetitive design. Even experienced players will find themselves frequently caught by the Slender Man or his creepy, hooded companion. When that happens, the level resets and all of the objects you were searching for are randomly scattered for you to find again -- disheartening, to say the least. That said, mature horror fans who can get past these barriers will find a sublimely scary little interactive story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it feels like to be scared. Why do some of us enjoy being terrified? How is it that games and movies and books -- things we know aren't real -- can create a real sense of panic?

  • Families can also discuss the difference between terror and violence. Is a truly scary game that shows no blood or gore any more appropriate for younger audiences than those that do?

Game details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love indie games

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate