iCarly

Common Sense Media says

Internet-obsessed teens engage in questionable hijinks.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players will check their email throughout the game and receive, among other things, fake spam -- offers for sketchy-sounding products or money-making schemes. Other emails contain offers for school cheats, like fake hall passes and a list of homework excuses. The characters ruthlessly make fun of one character behind his back, because of a mole on his face. One mini-game requires players to yank hairs from the mole while the guy is sleeping; another has players crank call him and blow an airhorn in his ear over the phone. Ruining or breaking things is played up for laughs (smashing tech gadgets, flinging paint at statues, throwing cupcakes at posters).

Positive role models

On the positive side, the four main characters are great friends who all help each other when in need. But the  negative outweighs the positive because these same kids play pranks on others and have fun destroying things to make videos for Carly's Web show. They respond to the villain hacking their computers by hacking his in return.

Ease of play

Gameplay is very simple. Kids who are not experienced with video games should still have no problem with this one.

Violence & scariness

The main violence in this game is performed upon inanimate objects -- computer equipment is smashed with a hammer, various food items are karate chopped, and cupcakes are thrown at billboards. One mini-game requires players to smack disembodied hands with a flyswatter, before they can snatch food from plate. Another has them squirt people with a water bottle. There's also a video game within the video game that features blasting space ships with a laser.

Language

There's lots of joshing among friends, including words like "dork" and "geek."

Consumerism

The game is based on the hit teen TV show. Advertising inserts for iCarly toys and paraphernalia can be found in the game packaging.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this collection of frantic, intentionally silly microgames, is housed within the framework of a mostly text-driven story. There's almost as much time spent simply watching the progression of the story as there is playing the games. These games, which are supposed to be Web videos shown on Carly's program, revolve around behavior some parents will find inappropriate, such as prank calls and vandalizing posters. Fans of the iCarly TV show -- and they can be quite rabid fans, indeed -- will already be used to the types of shennanigans they'll find in the game. The game also glamorizes life on the Internet, living by text and email, which may be problematic for some parents.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

The iCARLY video game tracks the format of the Nickelodeon show on which it is base. Carly and her friends have their own Web program, on which they air strange videos they find around the Internet. A bitter teenage boy, who Carly once turned down, tries to get revenge by hacking into Carly's computer and creating various technical problems to ruin their show. Eventually Carly and her friends figure out the mean kid's password and rewrite his viruses to attack his own computer. During all of this players will "play" Webisodes of Carly's show by taking on a number of quick, strange minigames that are meant to be video segments. Some include finding baby chicks in the dark with a flashlight, ringing a bell to wake up Carly's brother, and bouncing on trampolines.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

What may disappoint some iCarly fans is the way the game doesn't allow the player to affect the story in any way. The plot goes on, the players watch it unfold. Fans may like the story -- and the acting by the real cast members -- but long for some way to be more involved. The fun of this video game comes during "webisodes," the slates of rapid mini-games the player is hit with in a fashion not unsimilar to that of WarioWare (and the games are often just as bizarre and non-sequiter-like as the ones in WarioWare, too). The games are genuinely fun, easy to learn but hard to master, and tend to increase in difficulty as the story progresses. The only problem is that there just aren't enough of them, which leads to a lot of repetition. It's nice that players can "edit" their own webisode, choosing the order of minigames and tinkering with their looks, but it doesn't solve the problem. It's possible to finish the entire game in under two hours.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the good and bad involved in using the Internet. How much time is too much time on the computer? How do you keep your online interactions safe?

  • Should you limit texting and instant messaging? What kinds of things are okay to say to someone via email and what should be handled in person? What's the best thing to do if an uninvited user interrupts your chats or email conversations?

  • When does poking fun of someone online turn into cyberbullying?

  • If you want to watch funny Web videos, how can you avoid ones that are inappropriate or harmful?  

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99–$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Activision
Release date:October 27, 2009
Genre:Mini-games
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii)

This review of iCarly was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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, 10 years old March 25, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Buy it NOW!!!

Everything in this game is awesome!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 8 year old Written bysamantha vidya ... September 10, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

samantha vidya ramraj

nice game.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byjakomocha August 15, 2010

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