A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There is no real message present in the game's storyline, but some parents may be troubled by the game's ability to let children cathartically beat on friends or family members, by putting familar faces onto the villains in the game.
Positive Role Models
The hero never initiates fighting; it's always the villains and monsters who come after him (or her) first. Plus, the hero is always ready to come to the aid of a side character who asks for assistance.
Ease of Play
On the whole, the game is not difficult, but there are a few incredibly tricky platform jumping sections that may take lots of trial and error to traverse.
Violence & Scariness
The hero uses swords, spy guns, clubs, claws, and the like to dispatch sily looking monsters. There is no blood, but the impact of the violence can be magnified if the player puts the faces of friends or relatives on the bad guys he's shooting and slicing. Beaten enemies splay their arms and legs out and simply fall off the screen. As they "die," there can be any kind of noise from a small grunt to a blood-curdling scream -- all depending upon what kind of sound the player records.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is no sexual material inherent in the game. However, as players can incorporate their own photos and sound recordings into the game, it is entirely possible for a player to create his or her own sexual material for the game.
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There is no foul language inherent in the game. However, as players can incorporate their own sound recordings into the game, it is entirely possible for a player to add profanity.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Not unless a player adds it on his or her own.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that at its heart, this platform-jumping action game is no more violent or offensive than a Super Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog game. However, since kids can use the DSi to take photos and record sounds, and then add those sounds and pictures into the game, the potential exists for Foto Face to become something much less wholesome. Most kids, though, will probably simply enjoy the silliness of seeing a their faces on video game characters and have fun with the opportunites for creativity that the game offers. Parents should know which group their kids may fall into, and may want to make sure to activate the DSi's parental controls.
Is It Any Good?
Without its photo-capture capabilities, Foto Face: The Face Stealer Strikes would feel like a been-there, done-that sidescroller from the early '90s. But the game's big gimmick works far better than you might imagine, and adds a huge helping of fun and replay value to the whole experience. You can customize every character in the game, from the hero and major villains to random bats and snakes, giving each of them a face and voice of your choosing. Taking the pictures is very simple -- all you need to do is center the subject's mug in a circle on the DSi's screen. And for every character, you'll take several pics, each with different expressions, allowing the software to animate the faces (it's not great animation, but it's enough to make the mouths open and close while talking -- and it's funny). There's enough here to make Foto Face's $8 price tag seem like a huge bargain.
Online interaction: Snapshots of the hero -- with the player's chosen photograph as the hero's face -- can be shared with friends or posted online to Facebook. Since there's no guarantee that pranking teens won't photograph something other than their faces, this online component can be risky. Be sure to use the DSi's parental controls.
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Our Editors Recommend
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