Iron Man 2 (DS)

Common Sense Media says

Movie-game with lots of explosions but violence is cartoony.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite the good intentions of the heroes, the game is full of laser-fire and explosions that are likely to drown out any positive messages.

Positive role models

In this DS version of Iron Man 2, billionaire/superhero Tony Stark comes off as a man who'd rather be spending his time solving global warming or giving Internet access to poor countries, but who feels duty-bound to step in and save the world the hard way when times call for it.

Ease of play

Iron Man is controlled entirely with buttons, War Machine is controlled via touchscreen. Switching back and forth may cause some confusion, but neither  controls is too difficult to handle on its own. Some of the first few villain bosses feel a bit too challenging to come so early in the game.


As Iron Man or his partner, War Machine, you will blast enemies with missiles, bullets, and lasers. The vast majority of these enemies are robots or vehicle drones which explode in a poof and disappear when hit. There are a few human enemies in armored suits, but the humans don't explode when hit, they either fall down or lose parts of their armor. They are never explicitly shown as being dead.

Not applicable
Not applicable

This game is one of the myriad Iron Man 2 movie tie-in products. And there are ads for Iron Man 2 toys in the instruction booklet.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Iron Man 2 is a shoot-em-up game with lots of gunfire and explosions, but that this DS version is much more cartoonish in its action than any of the other Iron Man 2 video game versions on the market right now. This is a different game from the console versions of Iron Man 2, which are more graphically violent than this DS iteration.

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What's it about?

IRON MAN 2, the video game, doesn't rehash the story of the movie that inspired it. Instead, it presents an entirely new plot that takes place after the events of the movie (without much in the way of spoilers). In the game, an evil organization tries to steal Tony Stark's technology to create an evil robot army. Iron Man and his armored buddy, War Machine (you can play as either of them), set out to retrieve the pilfered tech and stop the bad guys. As you traverse various levels, you'll reach decision points at which you can alter the course of the action.

Is it any good?


The Nintendo DS version of Iron Man 2 is arguably better than its console counterparts. The graphics may be no comparison, but the control schemes make more sense and are easier to handle. The game is a 2-D side-scrolling adventure, as opposed to a third-person shooter like the other Iron Man 2 games, but the gameplay experience doesn't suffer for it. In this DS version, Iron Man zips speedily through the air like the high-flying superhero we know and love. The somewhat complex story, while it must be read (there is no voice over), is more easily followed. There are nice features that allow you to upgrade your armor suits and find a secret collection of hidden comic book covers as you play. But mostly, this DS version is a better choice for younger Iron Man fans. It makes sense that a game based on a PG-13 movie might have mild language and violence in it, as the console versions do, but it's nice that there's a somewhat more palatable version for the younger superhero lovers we all know are out there.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Iron Man 2. For the most part, the enemies Iron Man fights are robots. Is violence against robots less disturbing that that against people? What about when Iron Man fights other men in armored suits?

  • Are some superheroes more heroic than others? How does a superhero like Iron Man, who uses rockets and lasers, compare to a superhero like Spider-Man or Batman who fight hand-to-hand more often? Is there a difference in how they appear to kids?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sega of America
Release date:April 4, 2010
ESRB rating:E10+ for Fantasy Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of Iron Man 2 (DS) was written by

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  • 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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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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