Despicable Me: The Game

Common Sense Media says

Uneven game rewards you for being "despicable."

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game doesn't really focus on the change of heart that Gru has in the film. Here, it's all about him trying to out-evil his rival villain, Vector, by trying to steal the moon. You are rewarded for being despicable, gaining bonus points for attacking enemies who are fleeing you and for defacing property (like scrawling graffiti over a painting).

Positive role models

As cartoonish and unrealistic as he is, Gru is still a villain in this game. He thrives on being naughty -- shooting enemies in the back, defacing works of art, etc. He also complains and mocks you, the player, if you do poorly (this is meant to be humorous).

Ease of play

The difficulty level on this game is all over the place. Some of the puzzles seem so easy you may wonder if you missed something, while others seem almost impossible to figure out without using a hint (thankfully, you can pick up "hint tokens" along the way that can be used for just that purpose). Same goes for the platform jumping sections: Some parts are a breeze, while others will make you scream in frustration. There's a bit of a relief in the game's "Despicable Cheat" feature that lets you skip a section if you die ten times in a row.

Violence

As the villainous Gru, you will shoot enemies with freeze rays, wind guns, and magnetic beams. Defeated enemies vanish. It's all rather cartoony, but made a bit worse by the guards not fighting back -- they all scream and run when they see Gru and you need to shoot them before they escape. Gru himself can be harmed by obstacles like laser walls and heated platforms. When harmed, Gru simply bounces off screen and you start over. The most violent part of the game is the two-player aerial dogfight mini-game, in which players attempt to shoot down one another's planes.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is tied-in to the animated film, Despicable Me.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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. 

Families can talk 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?

Game details

Platforms:PSP, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2
Price:$19.99–$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:D3Publisher of America
Release date:July 6, 2010
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:E10+ for Mild Cartoon Violence (Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP)

This review of Despicable Me: The Game was written by

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written bysexilicious18 September 30, 2010
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