A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Despicable Me: The Game focuses on Gru, the movie's protagonist, as a cartoonishly evil villain who thrives on being bad. The more despicable your behavior in the game, the higher your score will be. You should also know that the game can be extremely difficult in parts, which is why the developers had to include a feature that lets you skip the parts you can't get past -- though not until you've tried and failed ten times or so.
What's it about?
DESPICABLE ME: THE GAME follows part of the plot of the film it is based on. Gru is an evil genius who wants to outdo his supervillain rival, Vector, by pulling off the ultimate heist -- stealing the moon. To do this, he needs a rocket, so Gru (with the help of his little yellow minions) sets out to steal the various rocket parts he will need to construct his space vehicle. The game also features a multiplayer mini-game section with various aerial dogfight games. In these, two players attempt to shoot down one another's planes while flying through rings or scooping up minions.
Is it any good?
There's some real creativity in the use of the minions in Despicable Me: The Game. You can freeze minions in blocks of ice to use as floating platforms on water levels; you can inflate a minion with your air gun to make it float up and hit a switch on the ceiling; you can use a line of minions as a bridge to cross gaps; and so on. The game deserves some credit for that kind of originality. The platform-jumping parts, though, which make up the majority of the action, can be tedious -- and unbearably difficult. The developers obviously knew how hard the game was, because they included a feature that allows you to skip sections after you fail at them more than ten times. And it's not that the game starts easy and gets harder -- the simple and the difficult are sprinkled throughout. It's a very uneven playing experience. The all-puzzle DS game, Minion Mayhem is actually much better.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way the game rewards bad behavior. It's obviously meant to be silly and cartoonish, but does that make it okay? What's the difference between satirical naughtiness and truly bad behvior.
If you've seen the movie, do you think the game focuses on the right aspects of the film? Would you have liked to see more of the three young girls who change Gru in the movie? Or do you think it was more fun to focus on Gru's villainy?
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