Parents' Guide to

Torment: Tides of Numenera

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Complex role-playing adventure asks mature moral questions.

Game Mac , PlayStation 4 , Windows , Xbox One 2017
Torment: Tides of Numenera Poster Image

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Many games earn Mature ratings with sex, violence, and profanity; few temper those things with adult concepts such as duty, compassion, and self-sacrifice. But within that context, Torment: Tides of Numenera is a rarity: an adult-themed game that asks tough questions and expects players to provide grown-up answers. Anyone going into this one hoping for hours of bloody hack-'n'-slash is going to be disappointed. The main thrust (pun intended) of the game is exploration and interaction, and developer inXile has created a brilliant setting for both. From bustling cities to echoing tombs, you're in for a surprise-filled ride as you uncover ancient gadgets called "numenera" and encounter strange travelers from distant worlds. The gadgets are valuable if you know how to use them; the travelers are alternately helpful and problematic. Battle is turn-based, which gives you time to plan out your attacks, but success in battle depends on good party building and effective use of each character's skill points. Gear plays a role in this, too, though Torment is far less item-centric than other RPGs.

As mentioned before, the focus of Torment is storytelling, although its unique “cypher” system helps scratch the gear-hoarding itch. Aside from the amazing writing, Torment offers good voice acting, incredible locations, and a seamless interactive experience that brings an alternate universe to vibrant, believable life. The only downsides are its occasional instability and bugs. Though mostly clean, crashes do occur, and at least one mission can't be completed. Still, the creativity and fun far eclipse the technical issues, and story-loving RPG-ers can count on more than 30 hours of quality adventuring.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac , PlayStation 4 , Windows , Xbox One
  • Pricing structure: Paid (Special versions containing extras like soundtracks, avatars and strategy guides available for $64.99 and $89.99.)
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Techland
  • Release date: January 26, 2017
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • Topics: Magic and Fantasy , Adventures
  • ESRB rating: M for Violence, blood, sexual themes, language.
  • Last updated: September 10, 2021

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