A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Frozen: Olaf's Quest is an introductory platformer adventure closely tied to Disney's Frozen. Younger kids who play the game likely will want to see the movie and vice versa. There's very little in the way of violence or scariness -- Olaf the snowman throws his head at a slow-moving wolf trying to paw him, that's about it -- or any other iffy content. Its simple design, extremely short levels, and ease of play makes it suitable for younger kids. There's no real failing involved, and players can move on to the next level even if they don't finish the current one.
What's it about?
FROZEN: OLAF'S QUEST follows the misadventures of the movie's lovable, bumbling snowman, Olaf, as he works through 60 short side-scrolling run-and-jump levels. His goal is to make it to the end of each stage while collecting various objects -- including snowflakes, beach balls, and hot chocolate mugs -- while avoiding a variety of obstacles, such as pits of spiky icicles and prowling wolves. Boss stages see him running away from various hazards, including an overly friendly reindeer and an ice monster. Most of the action is running and jumping, but Olaf learns a few tricks along the way, such as how to throw his head at things, roll like a snowball to smash through blocks of ice, and leap from one fluffy cloud to another before it disappears to reach higher areas. As kids progress they'll unlock various outfit items and accessories, allowing them to customize Olaf's appearance.
Is it any good?
Clearly meant for younger players, this simple platformer is presented in bite-size bits. Some levels can be as short as 20 or 30 seconds, designed to avoid frustration. Kids just getting their run-to-the-right legs should have an easy time figuring out the controls and won't be aggravated by repeated failures. You can only really "lose" on boss levels, and if you do lose you can just move on to the next stage.
That said, older brothers and sisters might get something out of the game as well, at least on later levels. Some of the collectibles are cleverly hidden, forcing players to explore and use all of Olaf's abilities to find them. It never gets too challenging, but experienced players will need to use their heads to figure out how to reach some items and earn a perfect score on every level. At $29.99, Frozen: Olaf's Quest is a bit pricey for what it is -- a three-hour adventure not much more complex than a smartphone game -- but younger players who enjoyed the movie likely will have some fun with it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the connections between movies and spin-off games. Do you usually enjoy games based on movies? Do you like that you already know the characters and story? Has a game based on a movie ever ended up disappointing you?
Families can also discuss Olaf. Does the character in the game seem the same as the one in the movie? What defines him? What do you like (or not like) about him?
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