Parents' Guide to


By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Moody mystery that's an intriguing fun ride.

Game Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows 2016
Virginia Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This adventure is an acquired and interesting taste -- more something to experience and process than something you approach to "win." The game gets major points for taking cues from film editing and deploying them in a video game setting. That might sound like something a lot of video games do, but Virginia plays around with a lot of abrupt jump cuts from a first-person perspective. The effect is both jarring and intriguing, as it's played to both ends of the spectrum: When you start off, the game jumps around a lot, but near the end, when the game wants to play up the suspense, you're made to walk along long hallways or staircases that you've never seen before. The result is a masterful provocation of fear, dread, and confusion -- which are three key words to describe the game overall.

Playing Virginia is both passive and active. It's passive because you watch as scenes -- such as you riding in a taxi or sitting in a coffee shop -- unfold around you while you look around for what or whom you can interact with. You don't actually do much, which may sound boring, but it's instead a runway of seeing where you can gather evidence. It's entirely possible to play through the entire game and be completely blindsided by the shocking reveal in the end, if you weren't meticulous or curious enough to poke around and see what clues you can find in what places. The other critical thing to mention is that Virginia is completely without dialogue. None of the characters speak, but you can still find and read microfiche and articles to piece together what the characters' acting doesn't clarify for you. It's worth a ride and even a second time around. But if you're expecting this to provide months of entertainment like a big and sprawling role-playing game or shooter, you won't get it. This is a quieter, introspective, and quirkier game -- and it shines because of it.

Game Details

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