Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

Sewer Shark. You may not recognize that title. But it was one of the first games that came out for the early ’90s Sega CD units using full-motion video (FMV). Hey, back then gamemakers were pretty giddy about all the space they had on those "huge" CD-ROMs versus the old game cartridges. So they figured, why not try some live-action stuff with real actors? It was all awfully grainy and not just a little bit gimmicky, but still pretty fun.

Now, all these years later, new FMV games are popping up, once again. But what a difference a couple decades makes, don't you know. The latest example is a crystal-clear, fully filmed thriller called Erica. It’s a game that you can play on your PS4 or download for your smartphone or tablet, and it's an incredibly movielike creation.

In fact, this stick-it-in-your-back-pocket entertainment creation is closer to an interactive choose-your-own-adventure film than a simple game with cinematic inserts.

Look Into the Fire

In this title you play as a young girl named Erica. Her father is the cofounder of what amounts to a mental asylum for girls called Delphi House. But there's more to this odd institution and its founders than meets the eye. And we get a glimpse of that "more" in an early flashback scene between a 10-year-old Erica and her single dad, who tells her a story about a priestess with a butterfly birthmark who could predict the future. It's a birthmark much like the one on Erica's own little forearm.

Dad looks back with his daughter on memories of her now-deceased mom, and then he has her stare into the fire and imagine the future. There, Erica sees her father's death, too. In that shimmering vision, she glimpses her father sprawled on the ground with a wicked-looking symbol carved gorily into his chest, and she sees a killer with dripping knife standing in a nearby doorway.

With that, Erica wakes up gasping. But now it's quite a few years later, and she's a twentysomething who's plagued with any number of emotional problems caused by her father's death—a demise that played out exactly as her youthful vision had long-ago predicted. Then the whole ugly situation with its terrible memories and unanswered mysteries gets ripped open once again when two bloody, lopped-off hands are left in a cardboard box outside Erica's tiny apartment door.

Erica calls in the police, but the detective suggests that her safest choice is to go back and stay for a while at the fortress-like Delphi House Estate while the police do their work. No evil bloodletting baddie can reach her there, he suggests.

Uh huh.

Obviously, the officer knows nothing about creepy mysteries. So the responsibility for deciphering this macabre murder mystery lies, of course, in Erica's (and your) hands alone.

Yes! No! … Maybe?

From a gameplay perspective, Erica is all about choices. You're given hands-on investigatory duties to open this drawer, pick up that object or read the poorly spelled note in the typewriter, etc. And that's all achieved by FMV-focused game mechanics involving swipes and pinches on your tablet's screen or your game controller's touchpad. (These include flicking the screen to turn the flint wheel on a lighter, for instance, or opening a package or article of clothing with a two finger swipe.)

But your true job is to make spur-of-the-moment decisions that will shape the story narrative and seamlessly slip the next strip of storyline celluloid into the game’s ever-unspooling film reel. There are multiple endings and outcomes to reach. And, along the way, you'll notice little repeated references to choices you made in prior scenes.

As mentioned, it all plays out in a creatively seamless tale that's well acted and well directed. And even though new characters you meet seem as if they might just have some nasty secret (or well-covered weapon of mass murder) hidden just outside your view, things still feel pretty enigmatic and compelling.

However, for all of its "you're driving the action" charm, this game's story is packed with far less charming M-rated, uh, chum. There are f-words and other crudities in the dialogue. Bloody, carved open chests, slashed throats, lopped off body parts, thrashing seizures and drug-injected deaths decorate the scenes. You'll glimpse occult-focused rituals, dark hallucinogenic nightmares, uncomfortable emotional trauma and people getting blurry-eyed drunk. And it's all made just a bit more real feeling because it's being played out by living and breathing actors rather than CGI constructs.

Of course, that' s the sort of stuff that can come with crystal-clear, fully filmed FMV updates. Which, I suppose, just might make you wish for those old grainy and gimmicky titles from back in the day.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Record Label


PlayStation 4, Tablet, Smartphone


Sony Interactive Entertainment


August 19, 2019

On Video

Year Published



Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!