The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Common Sense Media says

Daring adventure with inventive puzzles, trains, heroism.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Link and Zelda rise to the occasion to be brave and resourceful when faced with an overwhelming evil. This is a game where good clearly defeats evil. While violence is used, it is only in retaliation to being attacked.

Positive role models

Link is an unassuming boy who has just earned his train engineering degree. But when asked to help Princess Zelda and defeat evil, he doesn't hesitate to become the hero. Princess Zelda, in spirit form, also is brave and actively participates in the dangerous quests. This is no princess who just waits around to be rescued.

Ease of play

All play is done using the Nintendo DS stylus which makes controlling Link easy. You can also direct Princess Zelda when she inhabits powerful Phantom characters by drawing out a path for her to follow. The game also offers up to four players a head-to-head find the gems competition via local wireless connection using one game card.

Violence

Fantasy violence in terms of defeating little creatures who attack you and deplete your life points. You play as Link, and he can use a sword, a whip, a boomerang, bombs, and a whirlwind to defeat his enemies. Usually a quick conk with his sword will make the creatures disappear without any bloodshed. You may hear an occasional whimper of pain. But, if you choose, you can frequently just avoid the pesky creatures. The boss battles are more intense and require creativity in using the weapons at your disposal.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Legend of Zelda: Spirits Tracks is an adventure game with a great heroic story and challenging puzzles. It is the 15th installment in the beloved Zelda series of games, but you don't need to have played any of the earlier ones to enjoy this one. The game has some fantasy violence involving the use of a sword, a whip, bombs, a whirlwind, and a boomerang, but most creatures when hit, simply blink out of existence. And you can just avoid some of the troublesome creatures instead of fighting them. Some of the bigger "boss" creatures are somewhat scary and can be difficult to defeat. The game offers a limited multiplayer mode where up to four players can play using one game card.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS is the 15th game in the very popular Zelda series from Nintendo. You do not need to have played the earlier games to enjoy this one. Long ago, the Spirits of Good had defeated a dark evil and contained it by burying the spirit of the Demon King. They shackled the evil by spreading special Spirit Tracks (railroad tracks) over the world and assured its lockup by creating a Spirit Tower. But the evil is awakening and casting aside some of the Spirit Tracks. Evil minions of the Demon King have grabbed the ruling good princess Zelda and separated her body from her spirit. You play as Link, a young train engineer, and together with Zelda's spirit, you embark on a quest to save this land from the evil that threatens it. To defeat the evil, you must travel around the world while conducting a train, solve puzzles set in maze-like environments (known as dungeons), and defeat bad fantasy creatures, including several large ones known as bosses, by using your wits and your weapons.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is a great game for kids who like long adventures filled with challenging puzzles. The story is quite engaging, filled with fascinating characters and intriguing myths. The dungeon puzzles can be quite inventive because many can only be solved by drawing out a path for Zelda to take while you control Link. Other puzzles involve the driving of a train across intertwining tracks where other trains are also present.

Defeating a wide range of fantasy creatures (with no blood) is usually pretty easy except when facing the larger bosses. Your arsenal is constantly evolving as you add more weapons including a sword and shield, a whirlwind (which you activate by blowing into the microphone), a whip, and a boomerang. The game incorporates many other interactive elements including having you play a pan flute by blowing into the DS microphone. Newbies to this series, and die-hard fans will both enjoy helping Link and Zelda save the kingdom.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes a character heroic. What positive charactistics did Link reveal? And how about Princess Zelda?

  • In this princess adventure, Princess Zelda doesn't wait to be rescued, rather, she joins in on the quest to save the world. Can you think of other games in which a female lead is heroic?

  • Many of these dungeon puzzles involve controlling the movements of two people instead of just one. Did you enjoy the extra challenge?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$34.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:December 7, 2009
Genre:Adventure
ESRB rating:E10+ for Mild Fantasy Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 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, 10 years old Written byRoronoaZoro9 April 17, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

My father rented this game for me and just like I got addicted to Kingdom Hearts, I got addicted to this game too .

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old Written byawsomegamer June 28, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

fun game

the only reason i think its too violent is because if you kill some red little monster, something red spreads which might be a few dots of blood

What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byJadeBunnie December 18, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Entertaining, Challenging Game

I have to say, that this is one of my favorite DS games of all time! Being a hardcore gamer, I easily beat many games in a few days. However, Zelda was a challenge that I was eager to take on! The controls are easy, since it's mainly touch screen, and also incorporates the mic. I didn't think the violence was too scary, but some younger players might find the "Demon Train" or the main antagonist "Malladus" a bit frightening. When enemies are defeated, nothing is shown except a poof. However, there are snow wolves particularly in the Snow Realm that, when defeated, give a shrill yelp that made me a little uneasy. This is an easy problem to fix if you think it would bother you or your child, just turn off the volume! The characters are cute and loyal, plus the plot is set up so once you defeat the main boss, there is still more to the game! Overall Awesome!!!!!!!!!!

What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models

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