LQ: 9.75


Brain grade: 9.5
Fun score: 10.0

Game Type: , , ESRB Rating: Teen Platform/Console: , , , , , , LWK Recommended Age: 13+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used: ,

Nintendo Switch PS4 PS5 Steam XBox One XBox Series X/S PC 

Hades is a roguelite game where you play as Zagareus, the son of Hades, God of the Underworld. After discovering that he has been deceived by his father about his true mother, Zagareus decides to attempt escape from the underworld. The player moves Zagareus through the various levels of the underworld, encountering countless enemies and giant fearsome monster bosses. As you move through the different levels, you receive messages from the pantheon of Olympian gods. From them you receive boons which can make your journey a little less perilous. Items that augment your weapons, health, speed, and wealth accumulation are also available. When Zagareus is defeated, he returns to the House of Hades where he needs to make another attempt at the surface. But in between these runs, the wealth and darkness that he accumulates can be spent on leveling up, giving gifts to household members, or even redecorating the house. Some runs will also further the story along, providing information about the relationship between Zag and his father, the reasons he wants to leave, and why Hades says that it is impossible for him to leave the underworld.

Hades helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Focus: Blocking out distractions. 

The goal of each run in Hades is to make a little closer to the surface each time before being defeated. But each room and each level of the underworld has its own specific distractions. The player needs to be able to focus on the enemies and where items like traps or bombs are placed in order to swiftly clear the room while taking as little damage as possible. For players who struggle with focusing skills, Hades can be a good way to practice them if your child wants a bit of a challenge as well. 

Planning: Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.

In order to make it as far as possible in a run, the player needs to plan out what they want out of that run. Sometimes the goal is not to get to the surface but to earn more gems for a renovation back home. Sometimes the player wants to earn enough darkness to go back to their room and level up a few stats. And other times, the player needs to prepare for what they hope will be the final run that takes them up to the surface for good. Each one of these runs has different goals and therefore needs a different plan. The player needs to be able to think ahead about what they are trying to accomplish and take this into account when accepting boons, when choosing which rooms to go into, and when choosing rewards or items from Charon’s shop.

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