Death Jr.: Root of Evil

Common Sense Media says

Delightful romp with a not-so-grim reaper.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

You help Death Jr. find and free his father. The message is positive.

Violence

Little Death Jr. is cute, but he has a grim reaper scythe, twin pistols, flaming toilet paper and an exploding hamster to kill enemies.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Language is light; words like "crap" are used.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while kids play a young grim reaper in the game, the main character is very cute, almost huggable. There's nothing frightening here; it's just an adventure with monsters that aren't very scary. Still, there are weapons young Death must wield like twin pistols, an exploding hamster, and burning toilet paper sent airborne with something that looks like a gun launcher.

Parents say

Not yet rated
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Kids say

What's it about?

Death Jr., a young, determined Grim Reaper, is a terrific character who's on an earnest search for his father throughout this game. Young Death may not be of the Mario superstar variety, but he's at least as likable as, say, Spyro the Dragon. While the story about family loyalty and friendship could have been deeper, you'll have fun as you use Jr.'s scythe to defeat enemies, whack open treasure chests with powerups, hover and climb up cliffs. Death Jr.'s pals are quite a motley crew. There's Pandora, his best friend who's full of independence and attitude. (You can also play as Pandora or both in two-player mode.) There's Smith and Weston, twins joined at the brain, and Dead Guppie, an expired fish who's the rebel of the bunch.

Folks who are game savvy know that a poorly reviewed version of this game arrived on the PSP in 2006. But this version for the Wii is so much better because everything has been tweaked and revamped to make gameplay nearly seamless. In addition to your scythe, you'll have a twin pistols, which are great to shoot flying monsters out of the air. You'll also get a flaming toilet paper launcher and a cute but powerful hamster, which you can place strategically on the ground. It'll run toward enemies and explode, killing them.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

As you move through the strange but compelling 19 levels, you can save the game at any time. You'll use buttons on the Wiimote and Nunchuk a lot since there isn't a ton of motion sensing movement in gameplay here. Shooting and aiming is an exception. Still, the lack of motion sensitivity doesn't spoil what turns out to be a delightful romp through very imaginative environments, especially when you're in a restaurant where encountering sweet syrup makes you see the environments as if you were spinning and dizzy.

ROOT OF EVIL itself may be a tad short, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying a kind of early Halloween with Death Jr., Pandora, and the rest of the cute creeps within. In fact, game-aware parents may be called upon to help with later levels, which can be somewhat difficult to finish. But these challenges just add to the sheer joy of play.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fact that death isn't always eerie and creepy. In fact, Death Jr. has a purpose and goal here: to save his father. Movies like The Corpse Bride poke fun at the afterlife and death. What others can you think of? If you can think of more scary death-themed games and movies than funny ones, why do you think that is? Which treatment do you prefer?

Game details

Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Eidos Interactive
Release date:May 27, 2008
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:

This review of Death Jr.: Root of Evil was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old Written byAllysapi April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Bit iffy

they use some violence but its a good game

Kid, 9 years old August 27, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

its a very cool game..

good game. some violence and they say h*ll but thats about it. its pretty spooky at times too.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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