A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game's procedurally generated, meaning things like missions, character interactions, and objectives are constantly changing and random. Players can also play their own way, which means you can run around blasting everything or try talking your way through most conflicts.
Positive Role Models
By accomplishing certain goals, players unlock a variety of different character classes/professions with unique skills. These characters can range from classic heroes like police and firefighters to monsters like vampires and zombies to other more warped, non-standard characters like cannibals and drug-addicted bankers.
Ease of Play
Gameplay's very simple, leaving it up to players to decide what to interact with and how to do so. Getting through each floor alive can be difficult, especially depending on how you choose to play or which bonuses you're going for, but it always feels like something new.
Violence & Scariness
Depending on how players choose to interact with the world and each other, the level of violence can range from very mild to over-the-top. There's some blood shown onscreen when characters take damage and they can even be blown up into meaty chunks. Still, the game's pixelated art style helps to reduce the impact of the more graphic violence.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarettes, alcohol, and syringes of mysterious drugs all show up as useable items in the game. The game's plot and the backstory/description of some of the character classes also involve drinking and drug use.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Streets of Rogue is an action/adventure game available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch game consoles, as well as Windows, Mac, and Linux-based computers. Players choose a character and try to make their way up through a series of floors, completing various missions and objectives along the way. Gamers can play in nearly any style they prefer, whether it's blasting everything that moves, sneaking in the shadows, or even just convincing other characters to do their dirty work. Violence does happen regularly, with some blood and gore shown onscreen, though the game's pixelated art style keeps that from being too graphic. Parents should also be aware that drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are regularly referenced in the game and are available as consumable items.
Is It Any Good?
Some games can have cutting edge graphics and gameplay, but still fall flat, while others can have a less impressive presentation, but still somehow be ridiculously fun in spite of themselves. Streets of Rogue is a perfect example of this. The game's plot makes no sense whatsoever, it looks like something straight out of the 8-bit era of the '80s, the controls are about as basic as can be, and the challenge constantly rubber bands between mind numbingly simple and insanely difficult. And yet somehow, the minute you pick up the game, its odd charm and quirky style grab hold and don't let go. You're sucked into the experience with no escape … but that's not a bad thing.
Admittedly, Streets of Rogue is far from perfect. While the game offers up a wealth of options in the form of more than twenty different "classes" to play, its randomly generated stages mean that you never really know what to expect from one game to the next. You might breeze through the missions of one floor only to find yourself ill-equipped for the missions of the next. Also, even though there's a lot of variety in how you play, the stages themselves can't help but feel a little repetitive after a while. This is a game that's definitely best played in smaller bursts. Finally, setting up co-op matches in local and especially in online play is an awkward process. It works fine, but it's not as smooth as it could be. Still, Streets of Rogue is a quirky, arcade style adventure that's well worth checking out.
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.