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The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia Game Poster Image
Hybrid typing shooter is a dark comedy of errors.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Although there's technically an overall "good vs. evil" theme going on in the plot, the world feels more like a place where almost everyone falls into the categories of bad, more bad, or pure demonic evil.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The player, as Ray Bibbia, is the story's main hero, but he’s not exactly the typical "priest." He’s a character that's almost an anti-hero, with a tendency towards violence, his gritty and dark demeanor, etc. Meanwhile, nearly everyone he runs across, including those with ties to the church, are generally true villains.

Ease of Play

The game's odd mix of typing and movement is its main hook, but it's also what makes the game so difficult. Players are either forced to type with one hand while moving with another, or keep switching between the two actions. It's a steep difficulty curve that rarely lets up.

Violence

Although the game's art style keeps the violence from being too graphic, there's still an over-the-top abundance of shooting, explosions, blood, etc.

Sex

Despite the game's pixelated and cartoonish look, there's a surprising amount of sexual content, from innuendo in text to female characters pole dancing in bikinis to mentions of prostitution and selling young girls.

Language

There’s no shortage of profanity in the game, from the text dialogue to graffiti sprayed on the walls, including "f--k" and "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters are regularly portrayed smoking, drinking/drunk, or worse. Some characters even casually mention selling drugs to kids.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia is an action game available for download on Windows PCs and Mac. The game combines the fast-paced arcade action of a "bullet hell" shooter (where the screen is filled with projectiles tossed at the player) with typing mechanics. Players are challenged to both move around the screen to avoid fire while also typing out phrases in order to attack enemies. The game's presented in a retro pixelated style, though it still manages to push some limits in terms of violence and sexual content. The game's dialogue also contains a fair amount of both drug and alcohol references, as well as profanity of all kinds and phrases, such as "f--k" and "s--t." Parents should also be aware that the game also makes numerous sexual references, as well as references to drug sales, prostitution, and other illicit and illegal activities.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

THE TEXTORCIST: THE STORY OF RAY BIBBIA takes place when a demonic infestation breaks out in the heart of Rome, threatening to turn the city into a sinful cesspool of sex, drugs, and crime. Fortunately, there’s only one man capable of driving back the forces of darkness to save the day. The Textorcist takes the "bullet hell" shooter genre literally, pitting freelance private exorcist Ray Bibbia against Hell's minions in a hectic, fast-paced action-packed battle against evil. Armed only with bad attitude, good faith, and his trusty holy book of exorcism passages, Ray sets out on his one-man crusade to drive back the coming Apocalypse. As Ray, players need to be quick on their feet and fast at their keyboards as they dodge incoming waves of bullets from their foes while simultaneously typing out holy passages to send the demons back to the Hell from which they came. 

Is it any good?

There's no shortage of gaming hybrids out there, that mixing and matching genres, styles, and gameplay in uniquely creative ways, but this one falls apart at its Frankenstein-like seams. The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia is a strange mix that starts off well enough, but it pushes its host of gimmicks too far to quick, winding up as a nearly unplayable mess by the end. For starters, the game can't ever quite decide what it wants to be. It's got a retro, pixelated look, but it still tries to be "edgy" and dark. The dialogue cracks silly tongue-in-cheek one-liners right before commenting on selling drugs to kids or forcing girls into sex rings. It makes for some uncomfortably awkward laughs unless you've got a particularly dark sense of humor.

The Textorcist's identity crisis extends into its gameplay as well. One minute, it's an adventure game, with players exploring their surroundings, interrogating people, and uncovering clues to the overall mystery. The next minute, it's a bullet hell shoot 'em up with a typing tutorial tossed into the mix. At first blush, it might seem impossible to constantly switch between moving around the screen dodging bullets and then quickly and accurately typing out phrases (in English and in Latin). But early on, it actually seems surprisingly doable, and even pretty fun. It makes for a chaotic environment that provides a good test of both deft reflexes and quick thinking. Problems arise as players progress in the game. The game's difficulty increases pretty quickly, and as a result, the playability decreases just as fast. What begins as a challenge becomes a frustration before finally just becoming an act of virtual self-flagellation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about mature content in gaming. How do things like art style, presentation, and the like affect the impact that mature content (sex, violence, etc.) could have on younger gamers? How difficult is it to separate that content from the gameplay, and where should parents draw the line?

  • How is religion shown in TV, movies, books, and games? How important is it to look beyond these portrayals instead of taking them at face value? What are some ways to positively represent those that may have different beliefs?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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