Fun fantasy role-playing game with moderate violence.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players simply traipse through dungeons, fight hordes of evil enemies, and find loot. The story is too shallow to convey any meaning, but the action taps into players’ innate desire to explore, discover, and collect.

Positive role models

The game’s heroes are clearly good guys, but they spend all of their time hacking, slashing, and casting. Players never get to know much about who they really are or what they think.

Ease of play

Multiple difficulty levels let players make the game as easy or as hard as they prefer. Controls are simple and intuitive. In the PC version, players simply click to move and attack. In the console version, players use a joystick to navigate and action buttons to attack.


Players spend most of the game engaged in combat. They use swords, axes, spears, bows, pistols, rifles, staffs, and magic to attack fantastical, somewhat cartoonish enemies, including spiders, lizards, golems, and trolls. Blobs of colored blood fly from enemies when defeated and briefly stain the floor. The game’s raised, distant perspective lessens the intensity of the violence.


The female hero wears a bustier showing light cleavage and a short skirt.  

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Torchlight is a downloadable role playing game (RPG) that has players fighting trolls and spiders and other fantasy creatures with swords and magic. There is some blood, but it’s seen from a distance, isn’t particularly realistic, and disappears quickly. The focus isn’t just combat, but also exploration and loot collection, with players meant to derive satisfaction from the discovery of various weapons, spells, and articles of equipment that they can either use or sell. 

What's it about?

TORCHLIGHT is an action role-playing game that sees players delving ever deeper into a cavernous dungeon filled with all manner of fantastical creatures, from big bugs to growling trolls. After choosing one of three character archetypes -- a big, strong melee fighter, a woman skilled at fighting from range, and a young spell-caster -- players chat with non-player characters who inhabit the mining town of Torchlight, which was built over a rich vein of a valuable but dangerous material called ember, to acquire missions and objectives that provide reason to journey into the dungeon. As the game progresses players earn experience used to level up their characters and find loot -- equipment, items, weapons -- which they can keep or sell. Players also have a pet companion who travels and fights with them while providing additional inventory slots for item storage.

Is it any good?


Torchlight is brilliantly habit-forming in its accessibility, simplicity, and ability to satisfy people’s natural urge to explore, discover, and collect. Beautifully designed dungeons help make players’ travels through the mine a pleasure, while one-click combat mechanics provide for speedy, satisfying battles. Plus, a clean and simple inventory system makes it easy to manage all of the goodies you collect. Players can even send their pets back to town to sell excess items for them, allowing them to continue exploring without leaving the dungeon to visit vendors every few minutes or dropping valuable loot for lack of space.

If Torchlight has one weak spot, it’s a lack of compelling characters and interesting dialogue. Our heroes have little in the way of personality, and the same can be said of most of the people they meet. It’s a minor qualm for a game like this, but a stronger narrative would have made this great little budget dungeon crawler even better. Perhaps it will come in the highly anticipated Torchlight 2

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Torchlight presents a cartoonish world filled with monsters that bleed when struck. For what age is this sort of action appropriate? What would you think if the graphics were more realistic?

  • Families can also discuss collecting. Games like this one tap into our interest in discovering, evaluating, and determining whether to keep things. Is this something you enjoy doing? What sort of collections do you have?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, Windows, Mac
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Microsoft Studios
Release date:October 20, 2009
ESRB rating:T for Blood, Violence

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written byWyndcaller March 19, 2014

My two cents on Torchlight.

Just like Torchlight II, this is an incredibly fun and easy-to-play game, and I recommend it for ages 8 and up! Although the game has violence, the blood and gore can be disabled in the options screen. There are many games like this that are much bloodier, but this game is by far the most fun and the cleanest. No sexual content, swearing, drinking, either!
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written bymagreen9 November 1, 2014


Torchlight is a RPG (Role-Playing Game) where you can play as three different classes. The Destroyer who excels at melee combat, the Alchemist who excels at Magic and the Vanquisher who excels at archery (Bow's and Arrow's). In this game you an also have pet's to access you with our journey. (Each pet is available no matter what class you choose) You can get a Wolf, a Lynx and a Sea monster. There are also fish, that you feed to your pet and it will turn into something else. Like for example (this is true) : the Improbably Large Fish will turn your pet that you have in to a troll. (Each pet you choose the fish will be the same and have the same effects and turn your pet in to the same thing). The game contains quite a bit of blood, but you can turn it off in the options section. The game has a lot f weapons such as: Swords, Bows, Staffs, Cannons (Pistol), Clubs and Hatchets. This is a great game that will keep your kids entertained for a long a time!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence


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