A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Disney Universe is a frenetic beat-em-up game that can feel surprisingly harsh as a Disney property. The majority of the gameplay consists of chaotic battles, with loads of smacking, shooting, throwing, and exploding going on all around. There are puzzle elements, as well, and a decent amount of exploration needed in order to find hidden bonus items. The game works best with a multiplayer team of 2 to 4 players.
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What's it about?
Disney Universe takes place in a virtual theme park of the future, one in which guests dress up in costumes and interact with friendly robots to relive their favorite Disney movies. But an evil hacker takes over the park, turns the bots into baddies, and captures some of the guests. Up to four heroic park patrons tramp through six Disney worlds (Alice in Wonderland, WALL-E, Monsters Inc., Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Aladdin) bashing enemies, fixing the hacks, and freeing captives (and earning new costumes).
Is it any good?
How you feel about Disney Universe will probably depend on whether you're playing alone or in a group. There are certainly fun elements for solo players: Figuring out puzzles, tackling "challenge arenas," collecting new character costumes, and so on. But the sheer number of enemies — and the strength of the villain bosses -- make it a really tough game for one player to attack alone. You simply respawn each time you die, so you won't ever lose -- but it can take you an awfully long time to win. With a few teammates, however, the game takes on a whole new life. Working together to battle through the hordes of bad guys, team up on massive bosses, and share steps in puzzle solving: That's where the real fun is.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in the game. Does all of this fighting feel appropriate in a Disney title? Does the cartooniness of the characters diminish the impact of the violence?
Parents can also discuss the commercial nature of a licensed game like this one. Does playing the game make you want to see any of the films that are featured? Are you more likely to buy other toys, games, or books with these characters?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, group projects, teamwork
Communication: listening, speaking
Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy
- Price: $49.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Disney Interactive
- Release date: October 25, 2011
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor
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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.