A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Much like the TV show, this game depicts good and evil in a straightforward manner without any gray areas. Themes of courage and conviction resonate through the story.
Positive Role Models
The Gelfling heroes -- a ragtag group of resistance fighters fighting their people's oppression and murder by evil overlords -- are brave, resilient, and always do what's right, no matter the personal cost.
Ease of Play
Combat is straightforward, thanks to simple level design, an intuitive menu for selecting attacks and abilities, and early missions designed to teach players the ins and outs of battle. Various strategies must be mastered in order to find success in later missions, but three difficulties allow players to fine tune the challenge level.
Violence & Scariness
Turn-based combat viewed from a raised perspective shows humanoid and fantasy characters doing battle with swords and magic. Successful strikes result in flashes of light without blood or gore. Enemies disappear once defeated. Heroes can be knocked out, and they're shown lying on the ground, unconscious. Non-interactive scenes depict Gelflings being drained of their life essence.
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Products & Purchases
This game is an offshoot of the Netflix TV show of the same name.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some battles take place in what appears to be a tavern with bottles of what's presumably alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is a turn-based strategy game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. The game is based on the Netflix TV show The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and it's targeted at the same sort of family audience. Gelfling heroes -- including courageous characters from the show, such as Rian -- band together and fight bravely against the oppression of evil overlords, using swords and magical attacks against a mix of humanoid and fantasy enemies. Battles are viewed from a raised, distant perspective, and there's no blood or gore -- just flashes of light and foes that fall to the ground and disappear once defeated. Parents should be aware that kids who play this game may be drawn to seek out the TV show and/or the original movie that inspired it.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of Netflix's family-oriented fantasy series might have anticipated worse of a small-budget video game spin-off. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics may lack the narrative depth, sophisticated combat, and epic length of other games in the genre (such as Final Fantasy Tactics and the Fire Emblem games), but it nonetheless provides a competent turn-based strategy role-playing experience with plenty of story tie-ins to appease fans of the show. The quick story sequences between battles never overstay their welcome. They introduce (and sometimes say farewell to) characters, and provide simple threads that keep things moving at a quick click. Combat is fast-paced, too. Maps are never overwhelming, nor is the number of characters under our control. Players are generally given just one or two main objectives to complete, and these can sometimes be accomplished in just a handful of turns. Which isn't to say missions are one-dimensional. Players need to make ample and proper use of all of the job-based abilities at their disposal, whether that means taking flight to outflank an enemy or making efficient use of potions and spells to keep their party healthy and effective.
Don't go in expecting too much, though. There are plenty of little fraying strings for nitpickers to tug at, including the need to occasionally grind levels to grow characters, or failing and needing to restart battles just because you didn't know which job abilities would be most useful beforehand. And while the simple, comic strip-style storytelling conveys adequate information, it does feel a little cheap -- especially when put up against the big budget TV show, which dazzles viewers with its visually stunning presentation. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics isn't pushing any boundaries, but it was never meant to. It's just a fun little turn-based fantasy romp designed to satisfy devotees of the show who also count themselves casual strategy game fans.
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