Despicable Me: The Game

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Despicable Me: The Game Game Poster Image
Uneven game rewards you for being "despicable."

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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 & Representations

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
Language
Consumerism

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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 17 years old Written bysexilicious18 September 30, 2010
love it

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?

Game details

For kids who love action/puzzle games

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate