Parents' Guide to

The Banner Saga

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Great strategy game with rich fantasy mythology.

Game Mac , Windows 2014
The Banner Saga Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

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Fans of mythology-heavy fantasy and smart, turn-based tactics will devour this delightful indie gem for PCs and Macs. The Banner Saga satisfies straight out of the gate with gorgeous hand-drawn art that breathes life into both its frigid, forlorn world as well as its diverse cast of complex and colorful characters. A sumptuous score composed largely of traditional Viking-like songs completes the game's spot-on, Norse-inspired fantasy setting. And it only gets better once you start playing. The engaging story draws from the sort of drama, scenarios, and characters found in contemporary fantasy novels and charges players to make some very hard decisions that come with unpredictable repercussions. Things won't always unfold as you intend or to the advantage of your heroes, and the narrative is more convincing for it.

With such terrific storytelling, combat risks taking a backseat. But its chess-like depth -- which forces players to remain constantly aware of combatant positions, abilities, and statistics -- remains as compelling a dozen hours into the game as it is at the start. The Banner Saga is a bit pricey compared to other games of its ilk, and it ends a bit too abruptly, leaving tantalizing story threads dangling (likely because it's the first of several planned installments), but few turn-based tactics games deliver such a complete package of combat, storytelling, and presentation.

Game Details

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