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

If you want to get kids to focus on something, stick it in a video game. At least that's the modern reasoning. After all, the Entertainment Software Association tells us that some 150 million people in the U.S. are regularly mashing game buttons—which covers just about everybody except those folks who are already too busy binge-watching Netflix.

What I'm saying is that games are king in this country, and the gamemakers at Scarlet City Studios have decided to create an attention magnet of their own … to encourage kids to think about godly things instead of all those other things.

The Fog of War-Lite

The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance is an online game that mashes up point-and-click play with lots of crafting puzzles and RPG-like turn-based battles, setting it all on your computer screen in a colorful steampunk world. It invites kids into this place called Aethasia and implores them to get right to work (which is to mean play).

There's an evil emperor named Lucky who's tightened his nasty grip on this unlucky land—filling its air with a corrupting fog and populating its streets with a robotic army that's programmed to keep the populace in line. But thanks to the mysterious Scarlet Man, all is not lost. 'Cause this red-cloaked figure has been quietly recruiting good guys like you to make a difference.

And so you become part of a stalwart resistance that explores Aethasia's cobblestone streets, searches its heavily patrolled ports, and quests up into nearby snow-peaked mountains to fulfill the needs at hand. Sometimes that entails gathering gears and widgets that can construct steampunk gadgets for clearing the poisonous air. Other times it means figuring out environmental puzzles to find a way through. Or creating fanciful weaponry with which to take the fight to those clunky automaton overseers. Or it might mean simply seeking out and helping people who are hidden away somewhere in fear. In short, all your work is in hopes of once again restoring Aethasia to its former glory.

Slingshots, Clogged Carburetors ...

As far as the battling is concerned, that's a turn-based, spin-a-dial system matching you up against two or more mechanical foes who might spot you passing by. They shoot guns, slash with blades, snap whips, blow streams of fire or dig at the ground beneath your feet with large drills. And your guy or gal fires back with "whacking sticks," hammers, slingshots or some other projectile-launching gizmo. There's no blood or mess, but still quite a lot of life-gauge-depleting smacks, I'll note.

"Well, clog my carburetor!" takes the place of any swearing in this game, along with the likes of "chatterin' camshafts!"

... and God?

And taking the place of all the normal grit and grime and despair and even demonic stuff (that finds its way into so many games like this) is a Christian allegory. Much like the novelist C.S. Lewis did when he wove Christian concepts into a series of fantastical otherworldly stories for children, The Aetherlight slips its truth in between hours of steampunk gameplay.

The first major chapter of the Scarlet Man's adventure, for instance, lines up nicely with the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. (Believe me, it's in there!) And the game goes out of its way to make sure you get the point, too. In a series of accompanying Did You Think About This? minigames, Aetherlight encourages kids to match up the similarities between the two stories.

Also laid out for gamers are interesting facts, details and pictures related to the real world surrounding the biblical story, making each aspect feel fresh and identifiable even in our hyper-modern surroundings. Then the game doles out rewards as young players connect all the dots—teaching spiritual truth without letting anyone know they're in Sunday school.

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




Scarlet City Studios


May 5, 2016

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!