Disney's A Christmas Carol

Game review by
Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media
Disney's A Christmas Carol Game Poster Image
This classic holiday story is less scary than the movie.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Just as in the Charles Dickens classic book on which this game is based, this is a book about how an evil person can change. And how kindness to others is better than selfishness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

It's uplifting to watch Scrooge move from being a miserly, crotchety old man to admirably generous human being.

Ease of Play

While the game is easy to pick up and play by tapping and moving items on the touchscreen, there's a fair amount of thinking and strategy involved in order to complete some of the puzzles.

Violence & Scariness

You throw snowballs at kids and try to hit Scrooge with falling icicles. When the kids are hit with snowballs, they say, 'ooof.' Both of these aren't too violent at all, hence the 'comic mischief' label. Also, the game is not scary although the movie can be.

Language
Consumerism

The game promotes the movie of the same name starring Jim Carrey. In the game's packaging, there is a flier for Tim Burton's April 2010 movie and Disney game "Alice in Wonderland."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Disney's A Christmas Carol video game adaption of Charles Dicken's classic tale is not as scary as the movie version released at the same time. The game is easy to learn and there is little violence aside from throwing snowballs at kids and icicles at Scrooge. There is limited online interaction in this game via Disney's social networking site, DGamer. But parents are in control of that connection because they have to register by giving an email address via the DS and then clicking on a link once they receive it via email.

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What's it about?

DISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL is based upon the new 3-D movie starring Jim Carrey as Scrooge. Just as in the harrowing but touching Charles Dickens classic, the self-serving miser Ebeneezer Scrooge is shown the error of his ways as he travels on a frightening journey through his life: past, present, and future with three ghosts.

Is it any good?

This surprisingly delightful game is part narrated story, part point-and-click adventure, and part mini-games. Full of ghosts to catch and puzzles to solve, you explore each location until you solve its mystery. If you can’t figure it out, blow into the DS microphone to make glittering stars appear over parts of a static scene where you should tap on the touchscreen. When you solve a puzzle like waking Scrooge up so he can listen to Jacob Marley’s ghost, you'll receive prizes like a Christmas card. Link to DGamer, the company’s social networking Web site, and you can customize your avatar with these prizes. Rounding out the package is a calendar with a puzzle for each day of Advent and full version of the Dickens classic story for you to read. Sure, the game is a little short and the online experience is uninspired. But the design itself makes up for it in generally seamless execution, tons of sou, and an ever-engaging game experience. There’s no bah-humbug here.

Online interaction: The game is connected via Wi-Fi to DGamer, Disney's social networking site. Here, you can trade items you've collected or dress up your avatar. The parent must physically approve becoming a part of DGamer. Add your email address via the DS and then click on a link you receive to register.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the many mini-games you have to play in order to complete this adventure. Do you like playing the violin in the rhythm game best? Or do you like the card matching games better?

  • Do you think the ghosts are scary in the game? Or are they cool?

  • Will you be reading the book in addition to playing the game? Do you like the fact that the book is available with the game? Why or why not?

Game details

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