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Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Atone: Heart of the Elder Tree 8 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 5 months ago.
The Gods have abandoned Midgard, a once prosperous land that is now tainted by unknown forces. Worse, the sacred life-giving Elder Tree is under attack. As you journey to save the tree you discover characters who slowly reveal your family's past and the looming darkness spreading across the land. Each interaction offers decisions that affect the course of your journey and the branching story. Not everyone is honest so you need to discern fact from fiction and decide the right path.
As you progress there are puzzles to solve that grant you new abilities and reveal hidden passageways. You need to take care as making too many mistakes can close off a direction of progress permanently. Although you can often avoid violence there are battles you need to take on. These are played out as a rhythm-action sequence where timing your interactions result in attacks.
The result is a game that invites exploration and multiple play-throughs. You are aware your choices and success in puzzles affect the options you have in future situations. This and the unusual rhythm-based combat make this an ideal way to get started with an action adventure.
Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB TEEN for Blood, Violence.
8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Younger players need to be happy to do a lot of reading. There's a story mode that means you can always pass the rhythm-action fights.
Release Date: 27/01/2023
Out Now: PC, PS4 and Switch
Content Rating: PEGI 16
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
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