A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Defending a strange land from demonic creatures overshadowed by killing for most of game.
Positive Role Models
You don't know much about who you are, but your flight crashes after passing through a mysterious portal. You awake in Escario, City of Swords, marked as the Chosen One who must defend this place from beasts.
Ease of Play
Simple to control, but camera issues, graphical bugs hinder experience.
Violence & Scariness
Game centered on violence in turn-based battles against creatures using might, magic to destroy enemy before they destroy you. Some blood, gore, including nonplayable scenes with people decapitated, impaled, lying in a pool of blood.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female creatures shown with no shirts, revealing bare breasts but no nipples; other characters shown wearing low-cut outfits that expose large amounts of cleavage.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some profanity in dialogue, including "bitch," "ass," "damn," "hell," "bastard."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In-game item called "poiney powder" described as a narcotic substance with addictive qualities.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Stranger of Sword City is a Japanese turn-based role-playing game (RPG) that contains violence, blood, and gore; players will use weapons and magic to attack creatures. There are also cut scene sequences with impalement and beheading, and the game contains imagery of women with partial nudity or very little clothing and ample cleavage. It also features moderate profanity and references to addictive drugs.
Is It Any Good?
While it has a number of admirable features, this bland RPG isn't particularly memorable and ultimately succumbs to its shortcomings. First, the good news -- the game's heavy focus on variety, including the ability to choose and customize your allied fighters, is fun and gratifying and adds to the overall replayability. You can select multiple helpers, each with different skill sets, and even change up the look of the party, if desired. It has terrific artwork that's detailed and atmospheric; while it lacks smooth animation, the game's look is fantastic and gives this RPG a lot of character. Speaking of the game's look, it's rare to find a first-person, turn-based dungeon crawler, which is a fresh take on the typical third-person perspective.
Now for the frustrating parts of the game. It starts with "permadeath," where each character has a certain number of lives (determined by the character’s age), so when a character's life is lost, you need to take them back to base camp to heal. This mending of wounds can take many hours (real-life hours, that is), unless you've got a rare item that can resurrect them right away. Sure, this adds a challenge, but it mostly makes you want to turn the game off and play something else. On a related note, the game's difficulty is inconsistent: In some battles you easily win the fight with fewer resources quickly, while at other times you're overqualified for the brawl, yet you limp away an hour or so later. As in most video games, Stranger of Sword City has its strengths and weaknesses, but in the end, it emerges as an average C-grade adventure that could've fared a lot better with more time and testing.
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.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Role-Playing Games (RPGs) for Kids
RPG Apps -- Role Playing Games
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