Parent reviews for Kingdom of Loathing

Common Sense says

Quirky alcohol-related role-playing game.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 88 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 52 reviews
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?)
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.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Adult Written bymikexie360 June 28, 2015


This is one of the best games. It has the best graphics. It will teach kids about math, reading, and about the media.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult 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.
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.
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.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult 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.
Adult 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

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written bydeku_link12345 April 26, 2015

Is the person who wrote this review braindead?

Seriously, the entire point of a double entendre is that someone who didn't already know the sexual context wouldn't get it. Unless a kid knows what the word that "Orc Chasm" conveys (and the creator said it was unintentional anyway), then it's fine. There is some obvious swearing, but not anything worse than ass. I think anyone over the age of 10 could play it and be fine. And the game will PUNISH you for drinking too much.
Adult Written bychristeld March 5, 2015

Free and Quirky RPG!

This game encourages kids of all ages to engage in silliness, strategy, and humor through word play based puzzles, and puns. Though there are references to alcohol and some drug usage, it demonstrates the consequences associated with binge drinking, forcing the player to lose in game currency and stat points in depressing "drunken adventures" if their character attempts to drink too much and take a turn. While some of the puns are of a sexual nature, they'd only be recognizable by someone that either is already familiar with slang of a sexual nature, otherwise would be would be too obtuse for a child under 14 (generally speaking) to figure out for themselves. Any references to illegal drugs are so vague (i.e. "a small bag of powdered sugar" dropped from accountant) that a child under 16 really shouldn't be getting the joke (otherwise it's a very good sign that it's important now to talk about the dangers of drugs, if you haven't already). The game has way more to offer than games of a freemium nature (that make money through microtransactions); the game is free, and there are zero sponsored ads. While there's premium content that may be purchased (this is how the game is supported), it is in no way integral to game play, and most of the special item drops from premium content are transferable, and can be acquired with in-game currency in the game's flea market or mall. The game teaches money management and entrepreneurship, which are important life skills for success. The violence is in the game is in no way realistic or graphic. If a player has an issue with another player's behavior, there is a way to block other players. The number of active players is usually around 600, and there's a real sense of community in the chat rooms. if a player has any issues they may ask for help in chat or for major issues, may reach out directly to the development team and get assistance in a relatively short amount of time. The game only requires internet access and a browser. The design elements are so minimalist, it is actually possible to use a computer from 20 years ago, and have the game play just fine. Whether this game is appropriate or not for your children, the nature of each child should be considered. This game would not be appropriate for a child that has a history of bullying , is violent with others, is unable to make appropriate judgement calls without the presence of an adult, or is otherwise significantly immature for their age group. This game is appropriate for children that are able to make good moral judgments, do not display a "herd mentality' (are able to resist giving in to peer pressure if pressured to act immorally), appreciate satire/parody, are generally responsible, and are able to reach out to an adult if somebody online makes them feel uncomfortable. This game is ideal for developing linguistic play, humor, strategic thinking, problem solving, lateral thinking, reasoning, logic, and skills for managing resources. As a parent, if you are comfortable with your child being around humor about modestly taboo topics, then this is mostly likely age appropriate if your child is between 9-13. If not, then I'd recommend the game for ages 14 and up. I'd recommend before allowing a child to play this game to use it as an opportunity to talk about several important topics, if it hasn't been previously discussed : 1. That people needing to drink more than 3 drinks a day every day are considered to have a potentially life threatening disease called alcoholism. An alcoholic can have severe medical and legal problems even over a short amount of time. Having more than three or four strong drinks in a short amount of time is considered binge drinking. Binge drinking is unhealthy and can have life threatening consequences. 2. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair the judgement. Also recent studies show even small amount of alcohol increase the risk of certain cancers. 3. Not only is it illegal to drink under the drinking age, it is a very bad idea. Only when someone has the life experience of living on their own for a couple years, can they be able to intuit the long term and short term consequences of alcohol abuse. Any under-aged drinking is alcohol abuse. 4. Despite the best intentions, some individuals are abnormally prone to alcoholism before ever having had a drop of alcohol. If they recognize someone is unable to stop themselves from abusing alcohol, that person needs counselling and/or medical intervention. Make sure they know they can talk to you or a school counselor if someone they know is struggling with alcohol use. Also, if someone under the drinking age is doing has alcohol dependency, immediate action must be taken to get them help as soon as possible. 5. If someone becomes violent from drinking, get to a safe place and call 911 6. If they observed someone drinking too much alcohol in a short time and that person can't be woken up, stay with that person and call 911. It may save that person's life.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bymuhlange February 3, 2015
Adult Written bystratagen12 January 14, 2015

Great Game

This is a fun addictive text base game with some black and white artwork, used for character sketches, inventory, and map. This game is text based, making you read through your adventure, while you select options and skills to complete the game. There is also a world chat that allows you to talk to other players, with an optional profanity filter. The chat is also heavily monitored, to prevent people from being overly offensive or spamming the chat. Overall, this is a fun game that is super addictive game that encourages drinking, with lots of crude humor.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byFridayK May 26, 2013

A clever, witty, and mind stimulating game

This game is more than meets the eye at first. It is loaded with incredibly clever and funny writing, and is based mostly on reading text and reacting to it through specific actions (not far from an interactive Choose Your Own Adventure.) This game is appropriate for kids over 13, who will not be excessively shocked by certain double entendres or 'violent' imagery (the extent of this game's violence does not exceed any blood or cartoonish violence.) However, alcohol is a sizable component of the game but only serves as an additional game mechanic (alcohol or 'booze' extends the player's daily limit for 'adventures', the limited amount of actions a player can conduct, depending on the action, like exploring a dungeon or sleeping in a tent.) and a mechanic for mixing alcoholic drinks and creating cocktails does exist. This however is not anything past what is regularly shown in movies or TV shows. Overall, this is a fantastic game for those who can get into it initially, and is a very entertaining way to pass some time. Not to mention that a lot of reading is involved, so there is definitely an added bonus in that oftentimes complex vocabulary is used and can be beneficial to the player. It is also fun for RPG enthusiasts, with a quest, inventory, and pet systems, among others.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byLord_Teroh March 2, 2013

A wonderful game, just be smart about it.

As one who has played this game for years, I can say that this is a wonderful game! While I don't suggest that an 8 year-old play this game. It shouldn't be a taboo game to play for someone 13 or older. First off, yes, there is innuendo and alcohol consumption in this game, but it certainly isn't to such a degree as many more popular games like Duke Nukem or Saint's Row. Also, the game punishes you for drinking too much by causing you to loose currency (meat) or small amounts of HP. As for the 'violence', it is never really stated that anyone/thing dies. When a player's HP is reduced to 0, they are simply 'Beaten Up' and can recover by sleeping. Assuming the same applies to the monsters in the game, they just leave the battle and take a nap. The innuendo in the game is not always just thrown in your face. A lot of time, you have to read more deeply, and think about the text that has been presented. As for the in-game chat system, there is a community of very helpful and kind people from around the world. Sure, many of them use some stronger language, but there is a Profanity Filter option for the chat system. (This option is on by default). Simply put, give this game a chance, don't just base your thoughts on what others (including myself) have said. This isn't a game that can be easily described to someone, it's a game that you need to experience for yourself. Sure, there is the booze and the fighting, but there is also the unique quirkiness, the wonderful community (there's a wonderful story of how one player opened their home to another to help them out when times got a bit tough) and charming pop culture references that are sure to tickle your funny bone. Worst case scenario, you will find out that this game isn't quite your cup of tea, and you will not have spent any money on it. On the other hand, you may find, like I did, that you really enjoy this game and its community, and are willing to chip a few bucks from time to time, and let the creators (who are a couple really awesome people in their own right) that I think they are making a wonderfully unique product.

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bysestiva March 2, 2013

I think the reviewer gave a very biased opinion and didn't do enough research into the game they're criticizing.

This is an incredibly enjoyable game and the dry/sarcastic humor is hysterical. Sure, it contains things not acceptable for a younger child, but once a kid hits middle school, they're going to hear worse things on the bus or from their friends. If you're worried about the language from the community, there's always the profantiy filter, which is on by default. Also, the violence in this game isn't true violence; if you took the time to actually read the blurbs of text for each attack, most of the 'attacking' is some goofy quirk from your character, like an accordion thief making his opponent's ears ring from bad playing. As for its effect on people, I've been playing KoL for a while now, and I have yet to go out and engage in epic battle with a possessed can of asparagus while slurping down entire bottles of booze or steal my own pants.

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byAckar December 8, 2010


Who ever wrote this review brain's must be addled. This game is awesome!!!!! I don't care what you reviewers think!

This title contains:

Positive Messages