Unavowed

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Unavowed Game Poster Image
Supernatural point-and-click adventure is scarily good fun.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Players choose the overall moral tenor of the game, but there's plenty of opportunity to do the right thing in fighting against dark forces. Much of the gameplay is framed by a standard good vs. evil struggle.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main hero or heroine is a strong character, but the player can choose to make the character selfish or generous; they and other characters belong to an organization created to fight evil. 

Ease of Play

Game's story and design are easy to understand; clever restrictions prevent you from wasting time on pointless clue hunting. Still, success depends on being observant and making connections with clues to solve puzzles. 

Violence

Death and the afterlife are central to the story. There's a child ghost, and adult characters are shown being burned alive, frozen, or dismembered. Low-resolution pixel art keeps it from being too graphic or disturbing. 

Sex

Dialogue hints at intimate relationship between two main characters and discusses other characters "hooking up."

Language

Frequent swearing like "s--t," "f--k," "damn," and "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bars and drinking are shown; there's also mentions of drunkenness, alcoholism, and drug use/addiction. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Unavowed is a downloadable supernatural adventure game for Windows PCs. It features frequent swearing, with words like "s--t" and "f--k" frequently spoken. The storyline also features a lot of adult references, such as violence, murder, suicide, drinking, alcoholism, and drug addiction. It features the (sassy) ghost of a dead child and a main character possessed by a demon. You'll also see characters being frozen, dismembered, or burned alive. As serious as these things are, the low-resolution retro pixel art style keeps the imagery from becoming too graphic or disturbing. Finally, there are conversations about "hooking up," or characters being intimate, but nothing's shown during gameplay.

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What's it about?

UNAVOWED is a point-and-click adventure game set in New York City, and it revolves around a supernatural organization. Evil's on the rise in the Big Apple, and a young bartender is initiated into the Unavowed, a magical group of fighters dedicated to holding back the darkness. Players choose their character's gender, main personality trait, and backstory, then set out to find out the source of the growing evil. Each member of the Unavowed has his or her own unique skills, and players solve puzzles by bringing along other members of the group (two at a time) and using their unique abilities. Gameplay alternates between exploring different boroughs of New York in search of clues, interviewing people, and making difficult decisions as players attempt to destroy evil.

Is it any good?

This expertly-crafted supernatural adventure stands out from other retro-themed adventures with its handling of mature content that keeps you playing for hours. Unavowed features a cast of quirky characters, a dark sense of humor, a collection of clever puzzles, and a story that makes you want to play the whole game in one sitting. 

A big reason the game is so engaging are the secondary characters. As the story progresses, the Unavowed take on four new recruits, and you're tasked with bringing two of them with you wherever you go. Ultimately, that's a good thing, because different situations require different skills. Some might require someone who can make fireballs; others might need someone who can pass through walls or wield a sword. This character skill mechanic works so well (and creates different story outcomes depending on who's with you) that you'll take its complicated execution for granted, and that's as it should be. In fact, the overall experience is so polished and controls the flow of clues and information so well, you'll feel smarter than you probably are. But be ready: Your intelligence gets to battle it out with your emotions when you're presented with making tough, often downright gut-wrenching decisions. Fortunately, the glorious pixel art, beautiful character portraits, wry humor (the snotty hipster donut shop owner is genius), and solid voice acting ease the pain. And while it's true that Unavowed's language and subject matter make it a bit too gritty for kids and tweens, its audiovisual, gameplay, and narrative triumphs make it a quality choice for your family's older adventure gamers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sex and mature content in video games. What does mature content mean to your family and how does it determine what games your kids are exposed to?

  • Would you want to live forever? What would be the advantages? The disadvantages? 

Game details

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