By Christopher Healy,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Good multiplayer co-op has a surprising amount of violence.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn problem solving by exploring this large game filled with different Disney movie worlds. You have an option of playing alone or with others. When playing cooperatively, kids can learn how to communicate and solve problems that require plotting out strategies and often have each kid doing something different. Kids going it alone will find tons of wacky puzzles where logical thinking is the key to success. While there could have been better tutorials and feedback, kids can experiment to figure things out. Kids fight off bad guys as they puzzle their way through this expansive world.
Messages are very mixed. There's an overarching call for teamwork (and if kids don't work together, they'll likely not make it through the game), but players are still scored against one another at the end of each level. Kids will regularly see the villain playing devil's advocate and offering suggestions on how to thwart their fellow players (stealing their gold, etc.).
Positive Role Models
The characters are depicted as almost animalistic, more mischievous than helpful. But they are still inevitably the heroes of the game. They are on the side of good, eliminating the chaotic evil elements from the Disney Universe.
Ease of Play
The game is built for multiplayer cooperation, and if you can play with a few friends, you should be able to make it through reasonably well. If you are playing a solo game, it can be surprisingly tough. However, hints are provided and you do have unlimited lives.
Violence & Scariness
Fighting is at the core of the game. The heroes will be constantly beset by large groups of robotic enemies, which they will need to destroy by bashing them with handheld weapons (everything from swords and clubs to umbrellas and banjos). At times players will be able to shoot lasers, fire cannons, and even project stinging bees at enemies. The bad guys are all robots, so they blow up when defeated. If a player is beaten, he or she simply respawns (but is docked points from the final score).
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No bad language, but there is a pig that farts out toxic green gas.
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Products & Purchases
The game ties into six Disney movie worlds and expect more to come. And while you have over 40 characters to choose from in the game, there will be others available to purchase as downloadable extras. These characters are from all sorts of Disney properties.
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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Based on 1 parent review
Well it’s dumb
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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
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Disney Interactive
- Release date: October 25, 2011
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor
- Last updated: August 29, 2016
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