The_Otherside

Game review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
The_Otherside Game Poster Image
Action strategy game isn't sure what it wants to be.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This is a basic story of good versus evil.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's characters are a mix of men, women, adults and children, all trying to combat evil. 

Ease of Play

Even the easy modes of this game can be quite challenging. 

Violence

You'll use guns, knives, bows and arrows and more to kill enemy monsters. But no blood or actual violence is shown.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know The_Otherside is an action/strategy/role-playing game available on Apple Arcade. Players control up to four characters who are hoping to defend out dimension against invading monsters. While the game is combat-centric, using knives, guns, and other weapons against monsters, there's no blood or gore shown (though every player, including kids, can die). And there's a big emphasis on exploration, strategy and puzzle-solving. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

In THE_OTHERSIDE, players control between two and four survivors who attempt to save the earth from a dimensional invasion in this turn-based action/strategy/RPG (role-playing game). They'll start with limited resources, but through exploring rooms, rolling dice to find additional ammuntion, moving judiciously, and blockading themselves in rooms, they can work up adequate defenses. These can be used to either destroy the "spirit anchors" that allow additional enemies in (and threaten our dimension) or fight off the growing horde of enemies. Players get three actions per turn. These can range from moving one square on the game board, exploring a room, fighting the enemy, destroying a spirit anchor or opening/blockading a door. You have two active inventory slots, which can hold weapons or tools to make the quest easier. Other items can be stored and swapped out (though doing so will take one of your action points). 

Is it any good?

There's a danger when you try to mix too many game genres, because if done right, it creates a masterpiece, but if you're just a little bit off, though, it can lead to a lot of confusion. The_Otherside tries hard, but falls a bit short of the goal. Technically an RPG game with a strong strategy element, it leans a bit too hard on action. Fighting the dimensional invaders can be a slog and the fights are often unwinnable, though seemingly unavoidable. Even the game's early/easy levels can prove to be especially challenging, which will frustrate players. 

That's a shame, since it gets the other mechanics right. The turn-based roleplay fits wonderfully in this sort of game and there's definitely the strategic question of whether you should spend time exploring rooms for ammo or new weapons or if you should rush to destroy the spirit anchors (the key to defeating the enemy). And the game generally plays in fairly short rounds, which lets you try new strategies, should you fail. It's a game that tries hard, but doesn't quite manage to break through to, well, the other side. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's best to stay together or split up when there's a big task to complete. What are the advantages and disadvantages to splitting up or staying together?

  • When is it better to fight than run away? Is there even a reason to fight at all? Would non-violence even be an option in some circumstances or is it sometime's unavoidable?

Game details

  • Platforms: Apple Arcade
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: The Label
  • Release date: May 8, 2020
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: July 6, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strategy

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