Parents' Guide to

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Accessible RPG with mild violence, safe multiplayer mode.

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 8+

If videogames are to be in the family, make sure every family member has a DS and play Dragon Quest IX together and talk about the content.

Big big story in which the character, or hero,'s only objective is being nice to others to improve the states of the game's setting. The scope of the game means this morality can be disected into the smallest details of kindness the material of story-based video game code is able to translate.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
age 10+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (12):

Robust multiplayer features aside, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies is a little low on innovation. However, it nails the traditional Japanese RPG experience so perfectly and so entertainingly that it’s easy to overlook its lack of originality.

The writing is terrific. Filled with drama, jokes, and clever, eloquent turns of phrase, reading through the frequently appearing text boxes is more often than not a joy. The character customization and development system is fun, too. And robust. It’s unlikely any two players will find themselves with characters that look alike or have identical abilities. And the quick battles, in which you take on an ever increasing roster of imaginatively rendered monsters, are filled with satisfyingly strategy without ever becoming too complex. In fact, our only beef is that it’s perhaps a bit too easy for older, more experienced players. Still, we always prefer games to be too accessible as opposed to too abstruse. If your kids like handheld RPGs, you probably won’t find a better one this year.

Online interaction: This game can be played co-operatively over a wireless network, but only locally, not online. Other players will be close by -- likely friends in the same room -- rather than unseen strangers.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release date: July 11, 2010
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
  • Last updated: August 30, 2016

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