Galactic Taz Ball

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Galactic Taz Ball Game Poster Image
Average arcade-style romp has a bit of cartoon violence.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

There is an overt theme of greed -- Taz is oblivious to everything as he hunts for a chicken leg while Marvin wants to steal Earth's landscapes -- but it's all so over the top that kids are unlikely to make connections between what they see in the game and anything in the real world. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though a cartoon, Taz is still a mindlessly violent character. His behavior is meant to be fun but should never be emulated in real life.

Ease of Play

An in-game tutorial explains the basics, but it may not be needed; this game is fairly easy to pick up and play. Taz is controlled by using a ball -- similar to a mouse ball -- on the touch screen. Moving Taz and hitting the B button to jump-slam an enemy is a bit tricky, and there are times when players engage in unnecessarily complex finger aerobics.

Violence & Scariness

Taz can be defeated by the minions of Marvin the Martian and can fall off ledges or fall onto spikes, but there is no bloodshed. The game merely resets from the last starting point. When Taz defeats Marvin's helpers they simply disappear in a puff of smoke.

Language
Consumerism

Galactic Taz Ball plays off characters and attributes from the Warner Bros. cartoon library. It relies on players' familiarity with its characters and the appeal of the titular protagonist.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Galactic Taz Ball is an arcade-style game that pits Taz and the henchmen of Marvin the Martian in battles with violence roughly on par with Looney Tunes cartoons. It's single player only, and not particularly long.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

In GALACTIC TAZ BALL, Taz is oblivious to Marvin the Martian's intent to steal Earth's landscape. Consequently, our hero unwittingly thwarts Marvin's scheme during his quest to find a giant chicken leg. This is a platform-based arcade-style game with 25 levels, each with items to collect as a means of determining player performance. There are multiple difficulty levels for players to set the challenge that is right for them.

Is it any good?

While Galactic Taz Ball has a decent number of levels and two distinctive world styles -- the Overworld and the Underworld -- there is not a lot of variety in the actual levels. Taz's motion is fun to control and it doesn't take long to achieve a level of comfort with the track ball movement scheme. The characters look good on the DS platform and Taz's antics are worth a smile or two.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between depictions of violence in cartoons and live action entertainment. How do they differ? Why is it generally easier to stomach cartoon violence? 

  • Families can also discuss how to solve puzzles in a manner that does not lead to frustration. If you get stuck on a puzzle do you want to quit playing?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Warner Bros. Games
  • Release date: September 3, 2010
  • Genre: Arcade
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic mischief

For kids who love Handheld Games

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