Syberia III

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Syberia III Game Poster Image
Poorly made adventure highly flawed, has unsatisfying end.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Friendship, tolerance, cooperation emphasized but not rewarded.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroine is a smart, independent, resourceful woman with an altruistic streak.

Ease of Play

Poorly executed puzzles, red herrings, inconsistent interface make things that should be simple into a total chore.


People are threatened with violence; scenes in a mental hospital show patients restrained, drugged.


Mildly suggestive jokes from a female shaman toward a male android. Heroine briefly shown in underwear.


Occasional language such as "goddamn," "piss," "bastard" used.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mental patients shown being shot full of drugs; heroine encounters a shaman with a liking for vodka.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Syberia III is an adventure game that's the latest installment in a long-running franchise from the early 2000s. It contains disturbing imagery such as patients being restrained, controlled with drugs, and having serious radiation burns. It briefly shows the heroine in her underwear and tank top and contains mildly suggestive dialogue between a female shaman and a male android. There's some language in the form of "damn," "goddamn," "bastard," and "piss," and characters ask for and use alcohol.

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What's it about?

SYBERIA III continues the story of American lawyer-turned-do-gooder Kate Walker. Having been rescued by a tribe of nomads from a wintry death, Kate wakes up in a foreign hospital. She quickly realizes she's a prisoner there and must find a way to escape and help the nomads complete their sacred journey. This traditional adventure involves exploring locations and finding solutions to practical problems such as unlocking doors and launching ships. Players also discover useful information through dialogue with other characters.

Is it any good?

Fans of the series, prepare for a huge disappointment: This sloppy, poorly constructed game undermines itself at every turn. There are so many issues, it's hard to know where to start -- with the thin story, bad pacing, or slipshod puzzles? Or the stiff animation, bad voice-acting, and awful camera? It's a veritable buffet of badness that rewards your patience and tenacity with an unsatisfyingly nonsensical, cliffhanger ending.

The most obvious problem is the interface. Items work differently (or not at all) depending on the situation, and this inconsistency makes using items downright painful. Further, finicky, contrived puzzle design means too often that you know exactly what needs to be done but can't manage to do it. Tasks seem designed to frustrate, with steps set as far apart as possible (which means lots of boring running), requiring objects placed in near-invisible locations. Movement is also frustrating, though the development team tried to deflect responsibility for it by including a pregame message strongly suggesting you use a controller. Though the music is beautiful and some of the environments and models give off a cool Jim Henson-ish kind of vibe, their effects are sabotaged by robotic animation and monotonous voice acting (there seems to be a single man and woman voicing every character in the cast). Again, worst of all, if you get through all the clunkiness and red herrings, you're rewarded with one of the least satisfying cliffhanger endings in adventure-game history. It was 13 years between Syberia II and Syberia III. After this chaotic, discouraging letdown, will anyone wait another 13 for Syberia IV?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about ancient/traditional cultures versus modern culture. Can the two coexist? Do you know of any reasons why they shouldn't?

  • Discuss the idea of tolerance. How important is it to learn about people who are different from you?

  • Think about the refugees Kate Walker helped in the game alongside real-world news stories about refugees. Do you think refugees should be helped?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles

Themes & Topics

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