Parents need to know that "The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit" is an interactive story adventure available for download on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. The game follows a young boy coping with real world issues through the use of his imagination and his fantasy of being a comic book superhero. There's some mild violence when the boy, Chris, plays with his action figures and as he enjoys his make-believe adventures. It's also implied that Chris has been physically hurt by his father, who's fighting a losing battle with alcoholism. Throughout the game, Chris's father swears directly at Chris on occasion and can be heard using profanity in the background, cursing at the television with frequent use of "f--k," "s-- t," "ass," and other language.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
"The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit" tells the story of a kid that has tied a blanket around his neck as a cape and zoomed off for adventure pretending to be his favorite comic book superhero. Nine-year-old Chris Eriksen uses his imagination to become the embodiment of Captain Spirit, venturing forth to defend humanity from the evil of Mantroid and his cadre of supervillains. Where Chris may run into things like a broken water heater and a snowman, it's Captain Spirit that faces off against the likes of the menacing "Water Eater" and "Snowmancer." For Chris, real life is tough, coping with the loss of his loving mother and caring for a father who finds solace in the bottom of a bottle. But as Captain Spirit, Chris finds the strength to carry on and players get a glimpse at the reality of his world.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
This heartfelt, emotional game tells the story of how Chris uses fantasy to cope with the world around him. Players take on the role of an observer, guiding Chris's journey and discovering bits and pieces of his family life along the way. From the start, it's hard not to feel empathy for his situation and admire how, in spite of the issues he faces, he keeps his positive attitude. What the game lacks in fast-paced action or mind-bending puzzles, it more than makes up for in heart and emotion. It feels less like a game and more like an interactive movie.
While "Captain Spirit" is a self-contained story, it's also meant to serve as an introduction to the upcoming "Life Is Strange 2" game. Some of the choices you make here will affect some events in the upcoming game. It's also a story that's meant to be played multiple times, which is good because it's also a pretty short experience. From start to finish, Chris' story clocks in at about two hours. That might be hard to swallow if this was a full retail release, but viewed as one chapter in a greater story (and a free chapter at that), it's a great way to visit the "Life Is Strange" universe. Still, even on its own, "Captain Spirit" manages to do something amazing. It genuinely pulls at the player's heartstrings as they view the world through the prism of Chris's imagination. And when the credits finally role, it leaves them with a sense of hope ... and a desire to learn what's still to come.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 16 and older
Quality: 5 out of 5
Positive messages: 3 out of 5
Positive role models: 2 out of 5
Ease of play: 5 out of 5
Violence: 1 out of 5
Sex: 0 out of 5
Language: 5 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 4 out of 5
Consumerism: 2 out of 5
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
Developer: Square Enix
Release date: June 25, 2018
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