Hamlet

Common Sense Media says

Fun, original, spoof of The Bard's tale with clever puzzles.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The literal message of the game's storyline is to take responsibility for your mistakes and try to fix them. A subtler message is that it's okay to have fun with the classics and that reinterpretations of literature can be a delight.

Positive role models

The hero risks his own life to save Ophelia and to right the mistakes he made when he accidentally landed in Hamlet's time period.

Ease of play

There's no real learning curve. Some of the first puzzles to challenge you are some of the trickiest in the game. All can eventually be figured out, though. And hints are available after a time. Two of the boss battles require not just brain-work, but fast and accurate  mouse-clicking.

Violence

A time machine lands on Hamlet. A girl in a cage is thrown into water. Characters are hit on the head, electrocuted, and eaten by a giant octopus. The hero is hit (non-fatally) by several canonballs. A boxing-glove to the face "kills" the hero, who comes back to life after outsmarting Death. All of this is portrayed in a very unrealistic way with very cartoony characters.

Sex

Ophelia has exaggeratedly rounded breasts and her dress shows cleavage.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this video game version of Hamlet has little to do with the source material outside of the characters' names. The "re-envisioned" story is one that most kids will find to be a lot of fun, though, and may inspire them to familiarize themselves with Shakespeare's original. Explain to children that this Hamlet is a spoofy play on the original, and perhaps you can even read the real Hamlet with them as prep work. Spoofs are always more fun when you understand what is being parodied.

Parents say

Not yet rated
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Kids say

What's it about?

A nameless time traveler drops into HAMLET -- and his time machine literally drops onto Shakespeare's Hamlet. With the prince out of the picture, the evil King Claudius changes the whole story, kidnapping Ophelia with plans to force her to marry him. The time traveler must step into hero shoes and take on Claudius and his henchmen to rescue Ophelia and bring her back to the stricken Hamlet. The game is played out through a series of brain-bending point-and-click puzzles, with boss battles against characters like Polonius, Laertes, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Hamlet is a very likable adventure with playful artwork, creatively designed puzzles, and a bizarre-yet-effective sense of humor. There are multiple laugh-out-loud moments. Some of the puzzles are very challenging and may require too much trial-=and-error exploration for casual gamers. Hints do become available if you're stuck for a certain length of time, but be aware that the clues are just that -- clues -- they never completely give away the solutions. Puzzle afficionados who can appreciate witty literary references (and jokes about the Periodic Table -- Polonius's castle bears a sign with "Po," the symbol for the element Polonium) will likely be sad to see the game come to an end, which happens sooner that we would have hoped. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why it's important to read the great classics of literature. So much of contemporary pop culture -- this game included -- plays upon stories, themes, and references from the classics. Is this game more fun if you already know the real story of Hamlet? What are some other games, books, or movies that have been inspired by literary classics?

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$9.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Alawar Entertainment
Release date:April 9, 2010
Genre:Puzzle
ESRB rating:NR for (Windows)

This review of Hamlet was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old June 4, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

perfect for young kids

i think this game is fine for youge kids.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written byfreefall May 10, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
My friend says that it is a good book to read so I will try it .
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byluv_chris April 28, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
i would concider this for my own kids
What other families should know
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns

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