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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Some moral choices presented that give players opportunity to help, hurt someone. In general, characters are good people doing their best to navigate a morally complicated world.
Positive Role Models
Though playable characters are mainly good, there are instances of them resorting to violence to achieve their ends.
Ease of Play
Simple controls; difficulty arises in devising solutions to situational problems. Sometimes solutions aren't intuitive, requiring some sideways thinking.
Violence & Scariness
People are tased, hit, shot, blown up, thrown out of windows to splat on ground. Though retro pixel art prevents it from being too graphic, visible depictions of injury, blood.
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Infrequent cursing, but characters do use the word "asshole."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters shown with addiction, although in this case it's addiction to being online. Characters also shown ordering, drinking alcohol, being injected with stimulants, sedatives, talking about sale of drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Technobabylon is a downloadable adventure that tells an adult-themed story involving murder, betrayal, addiction, and political intrigue. There are multiple instances of intense violence, and characters are shown doing drugs and drinking. Though none of this is gratuitous and is rendered in abstract pixel art, it could still be more than younger kids can handle.
Is It Any Good?
Technobabylon is a rare example of the serious, thought-provoking video game. This skillfully executed and poignantly written point-and-click adventure manages to examine a range of socially relevant themes while being thoroughly entertaining. The story woven is a clever mix of humor and grit that asks more than one morally difficult question. Better yet, its visionary, sometimes brutal concepts remind us of The Matrix-like excitement of '90s-era cyberpunk.
Apropos of a game created in the Internet age, most of Technobabylon's gameplay involves information gathering. Whether gathering clues as a detective or hacking a security system as a genius slacker, this process is both challenging and exciting. Puzzles and item usage are cleverly designed, and solving puzzles requires as much technological manipulation as conversational finesse. On top of the great gameplay (and regardless of the retro pixel graphics), the strength of the writing, music, and vocal performances gives the game the emotional weight of a well-written cop drama. But It's important to note that it also contains the moral ambivalence and violence of those kinds of shows. Technobabylon is not only a well-made video game; it's proof that video games can transcend their medium to rival books and movies in terms of thematic depth and emotional resonance. For anyone who loves experiencing an edgy, intricate story, this is a game you shouldn't miss.
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.