A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Headup Games
- Release date: February 14, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: February 19, 2019
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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.