A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Encouragement, themes of teamwork between the main character, his drone.
Positive Role Models
The player is the hero, must exhibit traits of bravery, take some risks to succeed, work through the levels.
Ease of Play
Simple controls with easy menu navigation, but relies on a gamepad for controlling action.
Violence & Scariness
Exploding robots abound, but no blood or combat involving main character; it's all robot against robot. Players can risk dying if they can't avoid being hit by robots' ranged attacks.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Subaeria is a downloadable Rogue-like action-adventure puzzle-style game with platformer elements set in a dysfunctional underwater world teeming with robots. Players are accompanied only by their drone companion without weapons, so they need to be creative and figure out a way to lure enemy robots into a trap or fight each other. This is a top-down game, meaning the action is viewed from high above the world. The game also requires a gamepad for Windows, which is like a 360 controller but designed for the PC. The enemies usually die in explosions, but players need credits -- earned during gameplay -- to keep their health up or to continue if defeated (instead of starting from the beginning).
Is It Any Good?
Combine a rogue-like action game with some unique puzzle concepts and you have a solid foundation for a good time. Subaeria is not without flaws, but the wry twists make for an entertaining and challenging concept -- especially where younger players might be concerned. First, the player has no weapons. The only tool is the player's brain and his or her drone. Players need to use strategy to manipulate the enemies into a variety of traps or get them to battle and destroy themselves. There are platforms to leap across and lasers to jump over in a colorful, bright world. Intersecting story lines with multiple characters also give the plot nice continuity.
Where Subaeria falters is in forcing a player to use a gamepad to navigate, simply because it's an added expense. It's understandable because both the player and the drone can be controlled separately. There's also a chance that dying requires a complete restart -- which might be frustrating for younger players. The game is easy to understand, but sometimes quick reflexes will save the day over the ability to slow things down and think through to winning solutions. These are minor complaints, though, and Subaeria's concept of no direct violence from the main character scores very big points. This is no run-'n'-gun or hack-'n'-slash; instead, it's a thoughtful action game that's a good fit for younger players.
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.