A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The female hero wears a bustier showing light cleavage and a short skirt.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.