A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hop: The Movie Game features a great deal of cartoon violence -- much more than is found in movie upon which it's based. The weapons may be fantastical and shoot candy ammunition, but they still resemble weapons and are still called "guns" and "grenades." And they destroy your enemies. The mini-games that occur between shooting levels are non-violent for the most part. This game creates a mismatch for the targeted audience of the movie (age 5) since all the shooting that's in this game is inappropriate for that age. We have set the target age of the game up to age 8, and even then, the violence masked in candy sweetness is disturbing. Also unsettling is that your avatar's health is depicted as a chocolate candy man who has pieces bitten off when he sustains damage from the candy bullets -- and you watch as his head is bitten off, then a shoulder, arm, etc.
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What's it about?
The plot to HOP: THE MOVIE GAME is the same as that of Hop, the film. E.B. is a rabbit next in line to be the Easter Bunny. He doesn't want to be the famous bunny, and runs away to live with the humans and pursue his dream of becoming a famous drummer. His father sends a squad of commando rabbits, the Pink Berets, to retrieve him. In the game, you play as E.B.'s human friend, Fred, fighting off Pink Beret bunnies and overzealous chicks and collecting jellybeans.
Is it any good?
Beyond a couple of fun mini-games, including bowling with a jawbreaker candy as your ball, egg catching, and an Easter egg hunt, Hop: The Movie Game mostly offers run-of-the-mill run-around-and-shoot action. The story is told in a stiff and broken-up manner that could make following the plot difficult for anyone who hasn't seen the movie. And the level designs are very unnatural, making the play experience feel like an un-video-game-like movie being forced into a video game. For instance, Fred might be running through a house, but there are maze-like platforms with bottomless pits under them. The game could have been much improved if the developers had stuck to the more playful, Easter-themed fare in the mini-games, and shied away from the standard shoot-em-up action format that seems inappropriate for the targeted age.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in the game. Is there a difference between cartoony violence and more realistic violence in video games? Does it matter if the "ammunition" is candy, rather than bullets? What messages can this game send to children regarding guns and shooting?
Why do game developers make games with more violence than was in the original source material -- in this case, Hop, the movie?
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