Parents' Guide to

The Talos Principle

By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Tech-focused sci-fi puzzler challenges, makes players think.

Game Linux , Mac , Windows 2014
The Talos Principle Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Philosophical puzzle game

This game is not similar to other puzzle games like the portal game, its only similarities are that both have interesting puzzle mechanics and can get complicated, in my opinion this game is portal but wayy harder and a philosophical story with tons of reading, for educational purposes this game is very good, but be warned can be tiring spetially for the complicated reading and complex themes that it presents, but in general its puzzles are fun, complex and with the amount of puzzles that there are this game can give you more then 20 hours of gameplay, just be warned, this is not like portal, and dont expect a game like portal, expect a deeply phylosophical analysis of AI, new technologies, identity and robots, you can also enjoy it if you just skip all the reading lol.
age 5+

A Philosophy game.

This game sets the player up as an extremely advanced humanoid AI. The AI starts up in this beautifully rendered world, and is instructed by a big voice from the sky to 'Follow the path to righteousness and eternal life' , by solving puzzles and collecting 'Keys' (To progress through the game). It's challenging, and addicting. I enjoyed playing it with my 5 year old son, who could solve some puzzles, but would mostly turn it over to me after trying a few times. He enjoyed watching me solve them and wanted to progress. Things parents should know: This game is poses the player a serious question: What is reality? Throughout the game the players motives are questioned, and some things glitch out. Their are many hints that the world is artificial, and there is another subtle character which makes you question if what your doing is actually the right thing to do. The entire thing is very similar to our version of God and the devil. God being the voice instructing to pursue 'The True Path' without straying, and the devil (the subtle other character) swaying you to go up the tower (a location in the game which 'the voice' forbids you to climb). The player can choose either to obey the voice, or disobey the voice and scale the tower. This was confusing for my son, because his natural instinct was to obey the voice. I had to be tactful, because he is learning obedience, even though I wanted to scale the tower- because I sensed the voice is lying.....or is it??? That's the best part of the game, it makes the player question their entire reasoning for completing the puzzles, or scaling the tower. All in all, the game is good wholesome fun and easy to play. It will make your child think of deeper things, and may be a good conversation starter about morality and ingenuity.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Unless they’re extremely curious and love taking apart things to see how they work, younger kids will probably be bored by The Talos Principle. Those with much more patience will find it to be the perfect mix of challenging and rewarding -- although it won't have a lot of variety until late in the game. You'll spend your first few hours learning the basics of play: using jammers and other doohickeys to disable doors or turrets in convoluted ways. It’s later on that things get really interesting -- and potentially frustrating -- when you’ll have to deploy fans to send you flying, boxes to stand on when you need more height, and recording devices that "replay" what you've done in one area so you can simultaneously do more elsewhere. It gets complicated.

It’s also a steep, slow climb to those complications. Fortunately, the world itself is so fascinating and odd that it makes hanging in there worthwhile. It blends elements of sci-fi, religion, and philosophy very well; you can't help but be sucked in from the start when you're traversing columns and observing your robotic wrists, and an unseeing being referring to himself only as Elohim compels you to press on. It all makes for a great mystery that continues to grow as you try to investigate and understand it.

Game Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate