Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Game Poster Image

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs



Movie game features mild violence and plenty of play modes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The story concerns a sloth who finds, hatches, protects, and cares for a trio of dinosaurs. Some of the side quests include finding a present for a friend and a pair of rat-like mammals squabbling over ownership of an acorn. Players fight other animals, but only in defense.

Positive role models

Sid the Sloth thinks he’s a “mamma” and most of his actions revolve around trying to do what’s best for the eggs he finds and, later, the dinosaurs they become.

Ease of play

Basic platforming and racing controls with in-game tutorials. Beginners should have little problem getting the hang of things.


Players have to defend themselves against mildly aggressive wildlife in some levels. They do this by throwing snowballs and mudballs, tossing and shooting fruit, and whacking them with their hands (Sid spins around with his arms extended and can throw punches). The violence feels relatively mild; defeated enemies make little squeaking sounds and typically disappear in a puff of smoke or a burst of colorful leaves.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is based on the movie of the same name and is clearly targeted at children who watch the film or who are fans of the Ice Age franchise. Unfortunately there is a disconnect between the movie's target age of 6 and the ESRB's rating that this game is appropriate for ages 10+. Parents trying to decide whether this game is good for their young kids should know that the game has mild cartoon violence about on par with what occurs inside a Mario platformer.  Our animal avatars defend themselves from the cute but moderately aggressive wildlife they encounter by throwing snowballs and mudballs, tossing fruit, and hitting them with spin attacks and punches. Defeated enemies simply squeak, teeter, fall down, and disappear in a puff of smoke or a burst of colorful leaves.

What's it about?

ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS lets players take control of many of the characters from the film upon which it is based. As Sid, the sloth, players leap from platform to platform, collect a variety of fruits and crystals, and defend themselves from attacking wildlife. A mission as Manny, the woolly mammoth, has players ripping up tree trunks with his tusks. As Diego, the saber-toothed tiger, players get to chase a gazelle in a timed race, and as the loveable muskrat Scratte, you run from left to right in a brief 2-D platform adventure, while collecting cherries and avoiding other animals. Outside the main story mode, players take on a smorgasbord of challenges and can engage in multiplayer party games that use mechanics practiced in the story mode, such as Sid running atop a giant snowball and using it to push other characters off an iceberg.

Is it any good?


The latest Ice Age game is a fun little counterpart to the new film. With objectives, mechanics, and characters changing every other level, players are unlikely to grow bored quickly. And while this diversity means many levels require a quick explanation of controls and objectives, play is always rudimentary enough that it never takes more than a minute or two to get the hang of things. Plus, there are loads of unlockables earned by collecting and spending cherries, the game’s currency. In addition to several multiplayer mini-games and challenges, players can also purchase movies, art, music, and character voice-overs.

The only downside? Difficulty is occasionally imbalanced. Some kids will find themselves skating through a platform level with little trouble before getting stuck in an area that requires an incongruously high level of hand/eye coordination. Other than this one small beef, Dawn of the Dinosaurs delivers good gaming value -- especially for a game based on a movie license.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be a “mamma,” which is how Sid, the sloth, refers to himself throughout the game. Moving beyond the fact that the word is inherently feminine, what are some of the traits mothers have? Can men have these qualities as well? Are there differences between moms and dads that go beyond gender? Does Sid make a good “mamma?”

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Price:$19.99 - $49.99
Available online?Not available online
Release date:June 30, 2009
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence

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Adult Written byIce Age 3 April 9, 2010
Teen, 15 years old Written byGamerbro July 7, 2009
Where do I start.. The graphics are terrible.You would be hard pressed to find a texture that's not blurry beyond recognition. The best thing you could say about the gameplay is that it works. Borrowing gameplay ides from platformers that are actually good, like Crash Bandicoot, It overuses them from beginning to end. Any fun you'll be having at the beginning will simply feel redundant by the end. If this game got four stars for being kid freindly, more power to it. If it got four stars for being a good game...Just no.
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written bykeeyanoosh March 7, 2012

ice age 3 DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS the game

ice age is a cool game it is good for 11 years and up. you have to let your kids 11 years to play this game it is so awesome
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns