The Weaponographist

Game review by
Sarah Van Boerum, Common Sense Media
The Weaponographist Game Poster Image
Hack-and-slash is fun, easy to play but lacks variety.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This game is a hack-and-slash kill fest; no real positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character's mission is to kill as many bad guys as possible, using their own weapons against them as quickly as possible.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn. Killing opponents quickly makes Doug stronger; slow down and you'll get overrun.

Violence

All about the weapons (spears, slingshots, guns) and using the one that can kill the quickest. Some cartoon blood expelled by foes, but they also drop "goop" that works as in-game currency.  

Sex
Language

Mild language used by characters during background story at beginning of game.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Weaponographist is a downloadable hack-and-slash game with role-playing (RPG) elements. It centers around demon hunter Doug McGrave, who must kill off a slew of foes, using their own weapons against them to get to the next level. Each level gets more challenging with the introduction of bigger and badder foes, including everything from sorcerers and demons to laser-wielding dinosaurs and fire-breathing dragons. Weapon choices vary, ranging from spears and machine guns to slingshots and laser-wielding tubas. The goal is to kill as many bad guys as possible, as quickly as possible. 

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What's it about?

THE WEAPONOGRAPHIST is an indie-produced, RPG-style game with a focus on slashing and dashing from level to level. The main character, Doug McGrave, is a chauvinistic demon hunter for hire cursed by the local witch because he won't lend his services to the demon-ridden town of Hellside. To regain his powers and wealth, he must defeat all the town's demons, pronto. Gameplay consists of dungeon-like levels infested with foes and demons of all sorts who wield lots of weapons that Doug can use along the way. Violence, death, and weapons are the elements of the game here -- the quicker you kill, the more power you wield, but slow down and your power will drop by the second. Players also collect demon "goop" from fallen enemies along the way which can be used as in-game currency to purchase better skills, weaken curse elements, and return to certain checkpoints in the game.

Is it any good?

With its cartoon-like graphics and role-playing elements, The Weaponographist will be appealing for some. Villains and weapons vary with each level, requiring both skill and patience to survive. Be warned that once you die, you have to start all over again unless you have enough "goop" to buy yourself a checkpoint comeback. That's a standard of rogue-like games, but it also can make gameplay repetitive and lengthy once you die for the 10th time in a row, especially under a swarm of monsters. Gameplay is pretty straightforward: Just pick up a weapon and kill. Weapons are unique to each level and villain, and once Doug picks one up it will only last for a few attacks before it breaks, forcing you to move onto the next closest one at hand. Fortunately, there are plenty of weapons to choose from because the bad guys literally don't stop coming. These include bows, machine guns, swords, spears, whips, and lasers. Since enemies endlessly attack, players have to keep an eye on the combo bar found at the bottom of the screen, which fills up the faster you hack away, giving you better strength and ability to ward off the demons. Being too slow gets Doug hurt, which drops this combo bar quickly, making him vulnerable and more likely to be defeated.

Opponents can drop hearts along the way to give health boosts, but they are few and far between, so speed is the key to survival, along with focusing on "goop." If you can collect enough "goop" from fallen enemies, you can purchase special weapon combos, spells, and rebirth at checkpoints, which is vital to making real progress in the game. Unfortunately, The Weaponographist tends to suffer from bland repetition and a lack of variety, even for a rogue-like game. The story could've been much stronger, with additional content to keep players engaged and motivated to smash their way through each area. Plus, apart from the changing types of enemies, most locations are exactly the same; variety in fighting areas and different mission objectives would've really improved the gameplay. For rogue-like fans, The Weaponographist will probably be an amusing adventure with a wacky hero. For other players, the lack of variety will make them look elsewhere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the use of weaponry in this game and the difference between game violence and real-life violence. Does the use of weapons make the game more appealing?

  • Discuss the impact that the violence in this game can have on those who play it. Do you think it would affect an adult differently from a child who plays it? What age group do you think is appropriate for this type of game?

Game details

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