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In a Zelda-style story, you play a pure-heart child who must battle the no-heart rising again from the underworld. You do this by investigating the world and its inhabitants. You collect money to purchase clothes and weapons that help you on your way.
It's a mix of cartoon visuals and classic adventure questing. You pick up quests from the different characters you meet between diving into the dungeons where the real challenge is found. But as well as the seriously puzzling dungeons there is plenty of humour -- inspired by Monkey Island (with even a guest appearance of someone you might recognise from that game).
The result is a game that some may find too frustrating to finish. There are a lot of different paths forward but you need to test and push at the world to see where advancement is possible and where you don't have enough skill or equipment yet. When it clicks for those with the resilience to persevere, it offers a lovely story with an ending worth playing for.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Baldo: The Guardian Owls 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 13 months ago.
9+ on Apple App Store for Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence.
10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. The game doesn't introduce things very clearly so younger players need to persevere with things when getting started. Patience is required by younger players with this one, and there are more approachable examples, but when this grabs the imagination it's a good match for some young players.
Baldo: The Guardian Owls
Release Date: 27/08/2021, updated in 2022
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Content Rating: PEGI 7
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon