Review: Metroid Dread explained to parents

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What parents need to know

The brand new installment in the Metroid series follows the story of Metroid Fusion (released 19 years ago on the Game Boy Advance). Metroid Dread takes the form of a 2D platform game that focuses on exploration and combat. Players take on the role of the heroine Samus Aran, who can jump, shoot projectiles at monsters using the many skills that her robotic armor allows her. She will also have to explore the planet ZDR, in order to find an exit.

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Release date: October 8, 2021

Developed by: MercurySteam
Published by: Nintendo
Available on: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite

Type of game: Action, Adventure, Shooting Game, Platform game, Science Fiction

Average time of one game: 1 hour

Estimated total game duration: About 10 hours of gameplay.

Themes: Science fiction, adventure, exploration

Business model: Need to buy the game once.

Number of players:
1 player

Available in physical (cartridge) or digital format (download on the console)
Players3+ 7+ 12+16+18+
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This game is quite difficult to play. Enemies have all their attack patterns that you need to know in order to defeat them. You have to have good reflexes since the enemies are fast.

It is possible to play in Novice mode, which makes the game easier for neophytes. There is also the Terror mode, which makes the game much more difficult, recommended to veterans.

Violence, fear, nudity?
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Some particular enemies, the E.M.M.I (pronounced as the first name “Émi”), will pursue Samus relentlessly in certain particular areas. Moments of confrontation with E.M.M.Is are very stressful. Several bosses are pretty scary. Samus must use physical violence and projectiles in order to defeat the enemies.

Language level used
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There is no vulgar language in the game. Some dialogues refer to a war between aliens.

Positive message

Samus is a woman who does not need to be saved, she is quite capable of defending herself. She fights very powerful enemies single-handedly, while showing confidence.

Minimum reading level required
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Requires to know how to read for a few years, because the universe is a little complex and difficult to follow at times. Each new skill involves reading a tutorial of a few lines.

Additional costs ?

None. There have been a few free updates only.

Minimum level of execution on the controller required
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All the buttons of the controllers are used, require good coordination and good reflexes. Luckily, there’s no 3D camera to control, the game always stays in sight from the side.

Principle of the game

It is not necessary to have played the previous installments of the series to play Metroid Dread.

Metroid Dread takes place on the planet ZDR. The game is played with a view to the side. Samus walks across the planet ZDR in levels that are all interconnected with each other.

Samus finds himself at the bottom of a cave beneath the surface of the planet ZDR. His main objective is to escape from the planet by joining his ship that is on the surface. For this, she will have to navigate through the many caves by eliminating enemies and exploring the planet. At the beginning of the game, Samus loses all his skills, and must find them in order to join his ship. Each skill allows Samus to get closer to his goal.

Local game modes

Main story

Samus finds himself at the bottom of the planet ZDR and must find his ship on the surface.

Serial Boss

The player tries to defeat all the bosses in the game one after the other.

Survival Rush

The player tries to defeat as many bosses as possible in 5 minutes

Serial terror

Unlocks only when the player has completed the game once with the difficulty “Terror”. Samus tries to defeat all the bosses in the game one after the other, but if she gets hit once by a boss, she has to start over from the beginning. Recommended only for Veterans.

No online game mode


Metroid Dread was a highly anticipated installment of the series by fans. The word Dread, meaning “terror” in English, takes its place well in the title, because at certain moments of the game, the player is placed in quite stressful situations. While teenagers or adults might experience these moments as a challenge, younger children might be afraid of E.M.M.I.s and other creatures in ZDR. The Novice mode therefore takes all its importance. Although the game is quite short, the exploration and combat are very pleasant.

More information about the game: Official page of the game on the Nintendo website

About François Néron

Étudiant à la maitrise en orientation professionnelle, François a un intérêt pour tout ce qui concerne le développement de la carrière et l'emploi. Il a une passion marquée pour les jeux vidéo, mais aussi pour la psychologie qui les entoure.

View all posts by François Néron