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Parents' Guide to

The Medium

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Supernatural psychological horror storytelling at its best.

Game Windows , Xbox Series X/S 2021
The Medium Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+


When my asked for this game I said I wold look at it. It is an amazing game, with little gory images.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

A lot of games try to stand apart from the rest, thanks to some quirky gimmick that, while different, doesn't really add much to the experience. At first glance, The Medium's dual-world gameplay seems like that, but it quickly becomes clear that watching events unfold simultaneously in both the material and the spirit worlds is so much more than some cheap trick. It's an impressive feat of both storytelling and gameplay. During cinematics, there's something uniquely eerie about watching Marianne interacting with the spirit Sadness in her world while also seeing the same interactions in the "real" world. From a gameplay perspective, it pushes the player to pay extra attention to the environments, examining and manipulating objects in one world so that the player can advance further in the other. It all comes together seamlessly to gives players a tangible connection to Marianne and the curse she's been forced to live with her entire life. Marianne says it best when she describes the experience as existing in two worlds, but never truly living in either.

The Medium is one of the rare games that puts its focus squarely on its story. It doesn't require lightning-fast reflexes, and the puzzle elements can usually be solved without taxing your brain too much. Failing a task is almost impossible, and at worst requires a restart from a checkpoint that's only a few minutes old. Instead, every aspect of the game -- from the foreboding atmosphere of the Niwa resort to Marianne's tension-breaking monologues to the scraps of paper and other clues littering the rooms and hallways -- exist to flesh out the story and draw the player deeper into the mystery. It's this mystery that makes The Medium a must-play. Despite the obvious supernatural elements, The Medium doesn't constantly rely on cheap jump scares or other shock value. Instead, it digs deep into primal emotions, as Marianne's investigation begins to uncover even more instances of the suffering that the people in Niwa, especially the children, were forced to endure. The game conjures its fear on a psychological level, masterfully combining starkly disturbing imagery with players' own subconscious as they piece together the truth of what really took place at the Niwa massacre. The Medium is a tale of psychological horror at its best, told in a manner that could only be accomplished in this format.

Game Details

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