A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Someday You'll Return is a first-person psychological horror game for Windows PCs set within a sprawling European forest. The main character, a man with a mysterious past searching for his runaway daughter, encounters horrific sights -- sacrificed animals, shadowy figures, raging infernos -- some of which may or may not be purely psychological. He's chased and attacked, leaving him bloodied and bruised, but he rarely goes on the offensive, save to do things like stab huge, strange, pulsating hearts found scattered around the environment. He talks to himself constantly, and uses plenty of strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t." It's not overly challenging, but some players may grow frustrated should they become lost in the forest or underground tunnels, or miss identifying an important object necessary to solve a puzzle.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
SOMEDAY YOU'LL RETURN puts players in the role of Daniel, a man frantically exploring the Moravian wilds in search of his runaway daughter. The game begins with the girl already missing and Daniel in his car on his way to look for her. Once he arrives in the forest, he begins finding clues that might indicate her whereabouts, but as darkness falls, things begin to take a turn towards surreal horror. It feels as though something may be stalking Daniel, and the forest seems to have transformed into something sinister. As the story progresses, players are confronted with a variety of horrifying sights, each more strange and terrifying than the last. Some lead to questions about Daniel's shadowy past. But he pushes on, doing his best to hide and run from the horrors he encounters while solving contextual puzzles -- fixing a ladder, smashing rubble to create a passage, disassembling objects for their component parts -- using items and tools he finds along the way. Meanwhile, the nightmare only grows more cryptic.
Is it any good?
There are plenty of reasons fans of scary games will want to like this psychological horror thriller, but unfortunately, a lot of obstacles get in the way. Someday You'll Return beckons us with its beautifully rendered enchanted forest (based on real-world woods) filled with rushing streams, the sounds of nature, and authentic lighting effects. And its story offers plenty of intrigue right from the start. Who is Daniel, and why does his behavior seem so strange? What caused his daughter to run away? Why did he pledge never to come back to this forest? What's causing the bizarre happenings in the woods around him? The simple need to know the answers to these questions will push some players to forge on, even when the going gets rough.
But others might be willing to let the mystery be after, say, getting lost in the woods for the tenth time, or losing track of where they are in a maze of narrow underground corridors all of which tend to look alike. Some players enjoy such navigational challenges, but an optional objective beacon or mini-map of some sort would've gone a long way towards avoiding aggravation in those who don't take satisfaction in wayfinding using nothing but tiny tree markers in the dark. It's also easy to miss key items necessary to solve puzzles (they aren't highlighted or marked, save for a little sparkle when you get really close), and after you've missed one, you're bound to become paranoid that you're missing more. As a result, you'll begin obsessively checking every little thing you pass, which gradually erodes the sense of anxiety the game's trying to foster. And while the focus on stealth rather than combat is welcome, enemy encounters just aren't that much fun. When they end, the relief you'll feel will likely be owed as much to the simple fact that it's over rather than an ease in tension. Someday You'll Return knows the sort of horror experience it wants to provide, but never quite manages to achieve it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen time. It's easy to get sucked into a game like Someday You'll Return for hours on end, so how do you decide when to quit playing and take a break?
How do you know whether everything you see and hear around you is real? Are our senses fallible? How do we know if/when they shouldn't be trusted?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love horror
Top advice and articles
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.