Common Sense Media says

Quirky alcohol-related role-playing game.

Users say

(out of 141 reviews)
age 10+
Review this title!
Adult Written byLkc159 December 29, 2009

I think that his reviewer is biased and did not do his/her job properly and truly analyze the game.

There's no problem with this game. The reviewer got it all wrong. Firstly, if a kid actually gets any of the innuendo or sexual entendres, then obviously they already know what it's referring to. And if they don't already know, reading something that's a double entendre isn't going to corrupt them at all, cause they won't get it. Secondly, I've been playing this game since 2005, when I was 12+. I am now 17+, and I do not drink, fight, or steal people's wallets (or my own pants). Neither do I condone violence or drunkeness. In fact, this game already teaches children the bad effects of being drunk - you can't adventure productively anymore, and if you do, Drunken Stupor adventures don't result in anything good. I can safely say this game has not made me any more of a drug addict, lover of violence or a "Boozetafarian". (Eg: Goofballs give you goofball withdrawal for TEN times the length of the positive effect, and if taken too many times, starts reduces your stats. If that isn't a clear warning, then what is?) Furthermore, Alcohol does not play a major role in the game's scenarios. You don't need to consume any to win a battle, to socialize, or to even play the game. It just gives you a few more adventures, and if you drink too much, you get a penalty. Thirdly, almost all games today have some element of "violence" (as this reviewer has put it) than what you see on Kingdom of Loathing. For example, First Person Shooters (self explanatory) such as Left 4 Dead and L4D2, and CounterStrike. Strategy games such as Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Rise of Nations, StarCraft, Civilization, Caesar. MMORPGs like CabalSEA, or even MAPLESTORY! All of them have some element of killing to level up. Movies also have violence - Spiderman, Batman, Harry Potter, Avatar, even The Ant Bully, Lord of the Rings, and Shrek have plenty of "violence". Books too! Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, even the Secret Seven and the Famous Five have all sorts of criminals in them and these heroes engaging in "violence" to defeat them at points. If you can't stand something on KoL's level, you might as well spend all your time living as a mountain hermit. What this reviewer needs to do is to take a reality pill, and realize that whatever's in the game will stay in the game. If anything, this game exposes children to the outside world, and allows them to realize some of the good and bad points of things in this world (eg consuming too much beer, taking drugs) without having them take it in real life. The reviewer gives me the impression that all he'she did was to stare at a couple of screenshots of the game, noted down the "Drunkeness" meter, looked at the Wrong side of the Tracks, saw a few battles, and took serious offense at the entendres, all without truly analyzing it properly and letting initial prejudices get in the way (Which, by the way, is a bad example to kiddies! We don't want children to learn to judge a book by its cover, do we?)
Teen, 14 years old Written byzeeman48 April 9, 2008

A great game, a biased review

I have played this game for a while, and so far, have seen no problems with it. The review was completely biased from a 15 minute gameplay. Sure, the game does involve alcohol, but, they do produce negative results. Last year, I created an account (which was subsequently deleted) and played it for over 2 months. During and prior to that, I never suddenly got the urge to break into my parents liquor cabinet and start drinking away. All of the "inappropriate" activities that are involved are usually in jest and you never actually "kill" anything as far as I have seen. Usually, when battle is over, the loser simply leaves. Therefore, I don't see how someone can rate this game so poorly. Obviously, the "official" reviewer took no more than 5 to 15 minutes of gameplay. Had they taken the time to explore the game and meet the community, they would have realized the true purpose of the game.
Teen, 14 years old Written byKiPunk11 January 21, 2011

CommonSense Media Needs To Stop Hiring Conservatives.

This game is about as inoffensive as games get. Just because you can drink doesn't mean children can't play it, I give it on for anyone who can read. Violence is mild and double entendres will fly right over the lil'uns heads.
Kid, 12 years old February 22, 2011

NOT FOR KIDS? What the?

This game rocks, and kids shouldn't be shielded to the fact that alcohol exists.
Adult Written byZair April 9, 2008

Awesome game

How many kids are going to have any idea what Orc Chasm means? The game creator says it was completely unintentional anyway. My 9-year old cousin plays this game, and has fun. His mother watches. There are TV shows that are far worse than the Kingdom of Loathing. It's silly, addictive, and extremely entertaining. Theft? Come on... If you join the Shadowy Arts and Craft guildhouse, yes, you're asked to steal a wallet. You're also asked to steal your own pants without noticing. It's all in fun. Alcohol? Parents have a much bigger effect on whether or not their kids drink than some kid clicking "drink" under a bottle of vodka in a stick-figure game.
Adult Written byomindu April 8, 2009

Best Game Ever

I really like this game and would classify this game as a great game for all ages. but in order to reach the full enjoyment of the game you have to probably be 9 or 10. The game has nothing to do with beer and drugs. who ever wrote this review for the amazing game is a nut case. they probably haven't even played the game themselves and heard a long line of rumors and now they're spreading bad things about a great game. The game as many unique features like the amazing humor of the game, i don't care if the game has double meanings as long as no one pays attention or knows what it means I'm fine with it. In a nutshell this game provides years of fun and entertainment! if i was still a kid today i would be screaming to everyone and to my friends to play. i have personally played this game and i have told my close friends and they all enjoyed it, they gave it a five out of a five! I would rather play this game than spend 20 bucks a month on WoW. Which i do say myself is more violent then this game.
Adult Written bysarah_white December 13, 2010

What in the world was the reviewer thinking?

All right, i finally read this review and all the remarks about it. After reading everything thoroughly, i decided to put my two cents worth in. I honestly believe the person who wrote the review for this site should have spent a little more time in the game and gotten to know the community.of players. As to the comment that Kingdom of Loathing (KoL) is an alcohol based game and might influence children to drink, this is just WRONG. Any child who would drink alcohol because of a video game would probably get bored very quickly by having to read through everything and jut click the button in order to fight. This game is NOT an instant gratification game, which is what the kids who would be influenced would be looking for. As to the violence... did the reviewer ever watch Tom and Jerry as a child?? Did he or she let their child watch it?? How about Bugs Bunny?? Those CHILDRENS CARTOONS are much more violent than anything on KoL. Can you remember Bugs shooting Daffy with the gun during "rabbit hunting season" and blowing his beak all the way around his head? Of Jerry hitting Tom with a frying pan and then we (the viewers) could see the pan in Tom's tail? I can remember that and much more. And kids are watching these shows at a much younger age than anyone who can work a computer. So yes, we get to beat up on all sorts of silly monsters. But i can remember watching Adam West as Batman and seeing the "Kapow" "Wham" and other messages. The same things happen on KoL. I also have to agree with other comments that say the review must have only played for a short period of time. If he/she had played longer, there would probably have been mention of witchcraft due to the players being able to cast spells and summon items. In closing, I have this to say to CSM ... If you want to write reviews on games, then make sure your reviewers are playing the game until the end. It is unfair to the people who read and trust your site for the reviewer to NOT do so. I will not be trusting any reviews from this site until i have played the game myself. -mother of two and KoL lover #1752816
Adult Written byblotch December 13, 2010

Take it from someone who played as a child, this isn't offensive

I guess if you want to shield your child from the fact that things like alcohol exist, then this isn't the best game. On the other hand if you want to introduce your child to a game that will challenge them with many puzzles and puns, and you realize that children think for themselves then I would definitely recommend this game. By the way I started when I was 12 and I've been playing for 6 years and I don't drink ever, and the only pun I understood when I was a kid was the toot oriole. I literally just got the whole orc chasm thing when I saw it on this site and said out loud a few times, so i don't think a child would get it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 15 years old Written byGhost00 April 9, 2008

Fine for anyone over the age of 10

Strangely enough, most people tend to focus on the "bad" part of this game. The drink mixing, and the other content associated with alcohol. But in reality, the game is much more than an "alcohol supporting game" it has a flourishing community of players of all age. The violence too is far from anything as bad as games like fps (first person shooters) or most strategy games. Kol (kingdom of loathing, as it is called by players) doesnt even show the fight animations or even any blood and gore. I strongly disagree with the writer of the original review, because the person states that a "fiendish can of asparagus " could invoke violent thoughts in children. Far from it, it more instigates laughter, since a fiendish can of asparagus is actually quite funny. If your worried about the slightly sick minded jokes in the game. You shouldnt worry, because if your kid gets the joke, hes already been exposed to different things, and this is hardly going to matter. All in all, i believe that even though the game may not be suitable for kids under the age of 10, its definetly acceptable for anyone older.
Adult Written bymikexie360 June 28, 2015

VERY GOOD FOR ANYBODY

This is one of the best games. It has the best graphics. It will teach kids about math, reading, and about the media.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written byiainc1 June 10, 2015

Fun alternative RPG

As others have said - ignore the idiot main reviewer. This is an alternative RPG where instead of fighters, mages and priests you have disco bandits, accordion thieves and pastamancers. Yes, like all RPGs there is fighting - however you are usually trying to fight things like enchanted baked bean tins, or other comical items. Yes - there are many references to alcohol in the game. However if you use any alcohol based potion, your game gets worse. Each drink makes it harder to progress and makes your adventures more nightmarish. So it actually teaches that alcohol is bad for you. There is a level of violence as in most games, but the word play is top notch. The main caveat for younger children is that there is an in-game chat facility, so if you don't approve of chat, then this may be a decider for you.
Adult Written bybrianCS April 8, 2015

Fine for most ages

While it's true that younger kids shouldn't be exposed to drinking and violence, I don't feel like this game glorifies it or makes it seem "cool." I think that it's a fun little time waster that as long as the time spent is monitored, it can be perfectly fine, if a little addicting.
Teen, 14 years old Written byJohanjwalker April 9, 2008

Weird, funny, addictice, online game for 13+

Parents should not judge kingdom of loathing by the Common Sense Media website. Its a really cute, fun, weird game! Its great, but it is only for teenagers, and I mean just 13+, for there are a lot of drug/alchohol referances. You can drink and do drugs in the game, but the cool thing is, doing this teaches you how bad drugs and alchohol are. Taking a drug will make you feel great at first, but then you get a low that lasts a very long time and makes you feel awful in the game. Drinking alchohol may improve you a tiny bit, but it also gets you drunk-which is bad. There is a little bit of mild language and some innuendo and double-entendre talk, but its fine for teenagers who are experienced in this area. I don't understand what Common Sense Media thinks is so awful about this game. Its really fun, funny and enjoyable. As for violence in the game, combat is a big part of it, but there is no gore or blood at all, just some words that describe the sounds of the fight like: Kappow! Whack! Zork! Biff! You know! This game is fine for any teenager. Period.
Kid, 9 years old April 10, 2011

What was the reviewer thinking?

The game is FINE, just registered and already I love the game!
Adult Written byRagadraft August 14, 2009

Funny game!

Fighting is a major part of the game, but there is no combat animations or anything, just an attack button an a picture of the enemy. Lots of puns, though some are inappropriate for younger kids. There isn't really much inappropriate things in the game, and there are no ads anywhere.
Kid, 10 years old April 6, 2009

It Is okay

It's okay and yes it does have beer in it but if you drink too much you will become sick and you can't play until the next day and i haven't saw anything bad other than that
Parent Written byjohn s. September 17, 2016

Great Game, not bad for kids older then 13

Although there is fighting and drinking in this game it is shown with positive messages. When you drink too much alcohol, nothing good can happen, you run into bad encounters and only bad. Very funny and quirky, almost any sexual reference will fly over most kids heads. Also very fun and you do not have to pay to win.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byL3radin April 14, 2016

Not for young children

This game is only playable for a certain amount of time a day. Features optional microtransactions that are absolutely not required to win.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator Written bydominicv January 21, 2016
Let's be clear about a few things. First off, almost all video games on the market use some form of combat or violence. I've seen the use of green blood, or even cartoon characters to lessen the impact of that. KOL doesn't bother with animations. It's done in the fashion of the old script based games... As in, it's almost all reading. Period... If your child can read well enough to pass the tests at the alter of literacy, and can spend hours at a time solving complex puzzles that require most adults to spend many hours reading *how* to solve those puzzles, then your child is probably ready for this game. The game does not have a killing effect of any kind in combat. Instead, you beat up opponents and they slink away in shame... Or they beat you up, and you slink away in shame. The game assumes there to be one monster of a specific type in a room. And only one. You never, ever, ever kill them (with the exception of the slime in the slime pit). For example, the Goth Giant. There's only one Goth giant, and you'll fight him many times on your quest to spin the chore wheel in the castle in the clouds so that the laziest giant there will stop dumping giant garbage into your kingdom... This is a game full of quests taken from old Twilight Zone episodes, and Indiana Jones, and even the Ninja Turtles. It was made by a group of people who wrote text based adventure games and books. Remember the old choose your own adventure books? I have three Kingdom of Loathing choose your own adventure books. The developers latest game is Word Realms, where you combine basically Scrabble with RPG wizard fighting. It's very cool, and hobestly, if you care about your child's brain you may wish to encourage games that revolve around reading and puzzle solving rather than flashy expensive graphics and an over rated expense budget. This game is indeed aimed at adults in that almost everything in the game is a reference to something we grew up with. From Back to the Future, to the Fifth Element. It's all in there. Scattered throughout the game. So, Ask yourself this. Does your child have the patience to spend hours reading instead of playing their Xbox? Because, that's what Kol is. Hours upon hours of reading. With no video. Stick figure black and white graphics. No help whatsoever solving overly complicated puzzles meant to make adults frustrated. And when you beat the game, your character goes to Valhalla, makes one skill permanent, and then starts the whole process all over again. If your child has that kind of patience, and actually enjoys the game, chances are they are far too mature and developed for this to be a question. And, since I know many adults who get lost and can't even complete the first or second quest, they must have iron clad attention spans. Now, that said, your child likely won't like this game. It's too cerebral. They will likely want something expensive and colorful. Your teenager might show some interest in this game if they are going in for video game programming (that's how I found it, it's rather popular among programming students and teachers), or if your child is an avid reader with a great sense of humor and a long attention span. Your teenager may also be drawn to it for the cultural references, but it really has two major appeals. The right brain is drawn to the humor, amazing wealth of solid written material, and sheer fun. The left brain is drawn to the endless min maxing and maximizing mechanics implemented in the game. For example, I've played for almost ten years, and have built a character who can beat the game in four days, at my very beat. The bell curve to beat is two days, and the was that's likely years more tinkering with math before I get there... As you can see, a hobby of programmers, not children. The right brain appeal, however, is open to any who have the patience for the game. So, before getting worked up over how appropriate or inappropriate this game is, try to understand that your children won't have any motivation to play it unless their brain map fallows a very specific pattern, which simply won't happen for most children until high-school or college. If your child is younger than that and exhibiting signs of that brain map, I'd recommend challenging them more instead of letting them sink the hundred plus hours it takes to really get good at this game. Because, if your young child is capable of out puzzling and maximizing adults, your job is to channel that towards something productive. Not video games. On the other hand, if your child has an interest in programming... Maybe you should ask why this game is one we pass around video game programming schools. Anyway, there's my long winded before work rant about why your child won't be willing to play this game if you paid them, unless they were extremely high functioning and requiring more special attention and less play time. Oh, and for the record. This is the best video game I've ever played in my life... But, I've got a 173 IQ, and broke Skyrim in about an hour. I break every game I find. This game is built for people like me. No matter how much I break it, there's always more to do and break. Updated weekly, too... And, it always makes me laugh. So, if your a reasonably intelligent person, perhaps you'd like to try it for yourself instead of relying on the opinions of others. Your kids might not like it, but you'll probably love it.
Parent Written byreavesm July 2, 2015

funny for about an hour

Turns out that completing the game can be done in a few hours play time and after that it's just a chatroom with a ratio of 50 forever alone, 30 year old basement dwelling virgins for every 40 year old woman who took a good head shot 10 years ago...Some really, really, really sick pups who hide sexual innuendo in what sounds like video game chat for 10 year olds
What other families should know
Too much sex
Safety and privacy concerns

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