A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents should know that Tokyo Tattoo Girls is a turn-based strategy game. It has some questionable material for young teens: Many female characters are wearing very suggestive clothing, displaying large amounts of cleavage (with exaggerated bouncing of breasts) and partial buttocks under short miniskirts, and moaning while getting their backs tattooed (and showing some breast from the side), and there are some references to being in a pornographic film. While it's light on violence, with some battles that may result in some blood on the screen, it also has references and imagery tied to consuming alcohol, a dice-gambling mini-game, and some light profanity, including words like "bitch" and "ass."
What's it about?
TOKYO TATTOO GIRLS is set in a world that exists after a mysterious calamity has befallen a futuristic Tokyo. As a result, some of the city's survivors find themselves with powerful abilities bestowed on them by mystical, colorful tattoos. The city is isolated from the world, and to help create peace for the remaining residents -- spread across 23 wards -- powerful girl fighters vow to take control of each area until they're victorious. You must face off against these localized syndicates known as Kumi, which together form the Union, and it's said that whomever manages to defeat all 23 Kumi can escape from this postapocalyptic Tokyo. As the player, you must choose your female companion character to help you escape the city, increase her abilities by giving her powerful tattoos, and through the turn-based strategy, take on the Union (including the Kumi bosses from each ward).
Is it any good?
Despite the accessible strategy (that's similar to the board game Risk) and interesting artwork (including the tattoos themselves), there isn't much to this game. Between the convoluted (and ridiculous) story, subtitled dialogue, little action, and short gameplay that can be completed in a couple of hours, it isn't worth your time and money. The gameplay involves accumulating protection cash, then using the money in a ward to purchase an action, such as growing your army, increasing your honor, or reducing the odds of being detected by enemies (which can result in a turf war). But battles are really just dialogue exchanges with bosses, which is anticlimactic; based on your stats, you'll win or you won't. If you win, that ward joins your army, with the overall goal to take over the entire city. Again, there isn't any action in this game, so it will likely bore most players.
As mentioned, there isn't much here -- unless, of course, you enjoy looking at provocatively dressed young girls, whose private parts are almost always exposed, and with suggestive camera angles and close-ups that make it feel like a pornographic cartoon at times. When you give the girls a tattoo to upgrade, they lay topless on the table (exposing their bare back, but with some breast and buttock seen, too) and they moan erotically as the work is being done. Overall, this is one forgettable title.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role of women in this game. Do you think these characters are good or bad role models? Is the content in the game a reflection of Japanese anime, which looks different through a Western lens?
Discuss strategy games. Can you apply the strategy that you use in this game to real life?
- Platforms: PlayStation Vita, Windows
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: NIS America
- Release date: November 14, 2017
- Genre: Strategy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Blood, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Sexual Themes, Simulated Gambling, Use of Alcohol
- Last updated: November 24, 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.