The Lost Child

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
The Lost Child Game Poster Image
Mature supernatural tale suffers from repetitive gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Mainly a story about good versus evil, but heightened focus on combat, as well as frequently fighting demons and other evil creatures and mature content reduces positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You assume the role of Hayato, a Japanese journalist, who starts off looking into paranormal activities for his boss -- including mysterious suicides at a train station. Unbeknownst to him, this is the start of an epic adventure against demons and other supernatural villains. He seems like a good, dedicated person, who wants to do the right thing.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Frequent combat against fantastical creatures -- such as demons and other fallen angels -- using swords, firearms, and magic spells. Battles are often accompanied by cries of pain and blood splatter. But the game isn't overly gory or realistic.
 

Sex

While there's no nudity, many female characters (good and evil) wear very revealing clothing that exposes large amounts of cleavage. Frequent suggestive references and some demeaning comments to women like “Just go fondle each other or something,” “Your partner has big boobs,” and “I'll shove my extra large love in ya!"

Language

Moderate swearing in dialogue, including "a--hole" and "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some alcohol references in dialogue, such as “I was pretty drunk,” “You've been lured here by the scent of alcohol,” and “I was drunk, so I thought I just imagined it," plus one character is always shown smoking a cigarette.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Lost Child is a role-playing game (RPG) for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Nintendo Switch. Combat is a frequent focus of gameplay, with characters using weapons and magic to defeat enemies. While there are some cries and some blood spatter shown in battle, players are fighting against demons and other fantasy creatures. Female characters are shown wearing revealing clothing, while there are some sexually suggestive and demeaning comments made in dialogue, such as “Your partner has big boobs.”  There's a moderate amount of swearing (including words like "s--t" and "a--hole"), as well as references to consuming large amounts of alcohol, and one character who always smokes a cigarette.  

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What's it about?

THE LOST CHILD is a role-playing game (RPG) that combines dungeon crawling with turn-based battles, creature collection and training, and visual novel graphics. Players take on the role of an intrepid reporter in modern-day Japan on assignment to investigate a series of suicides at a local train station. Your editor believes there's something supernatural at play here, so you begin a journey that unravels a demonic world full of malevolent creatures you must find, battle, and put an end to their evil acts. Played mostly from a first-person perspective, you'll explore massive dungeons, exchange blows with enemies using swords, pistols, and magic, and enlist help from the captured Astrals you've collected throughout the single-player game.

Is it any good?

This turn-based role-playing game merges monster collecting and training with graphic novel visuals, but its repetitive play limits its appeal to hardcore fans only. The story of The Lost Child is decent, as is the pacing, but you really do need to be into Japanese dungeon crawlers to appreciate the story's twists and turns. There's a hefty focus on combat, and the game tries to distinguish itself from other role-playing games by offering a number of offensive and defensive moves, as well as collected supernatural allies (called Astrals), that can be used against a large horde of monsters. In fact, the Pokemon-like way that you acquire allies from previously defeated foes can keep you engaged as you deploy them against other creatures, "training" them in battle to develop new abilities.

But despite the variety in moves and enemies, the gameplay quickly gets repetitive. In fact, you'll find that the gameplay in each story chapter works like this: watch a cutscene, move slowly through a dungeon, find an Astral, enter a fight, and then repeat. Occasionally you'll open some chests that you come across for items or collect karma to level up your party, but the cyclical pattern of this gameplay quickly stops being interesting after a short while and becomes dull. In fact, unless you're a fan of dungeon crawlers where you have to grind your way through each step for progress or collecting monsters to do your fighting for you, The Lost Child might not be an adventure you want to undertake.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about female objectification in the game. Women are frequently objectified and sexualized in this game, but do you think that players want young girls and women to look and act like this? Would this game receive a lighter rating if it didn't have the sexual content?

  • Is the impact of violence in The Lost Child lessened because you're fighting monsters and creatures that are clearly unrealistic? is the impact of violence heightened because of the focus on combat?

Game details

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