Kid Icarus: Uprising Game Poster Image

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Frenetic action with constant but mild fantasy violence.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kid Icarus: Uprising wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive messages

This game glorifies fantasy combat while lightly investigating themes of perseverance, duty, and self-reflection.

Positive role models

The hero is a noble angel fighting evil forces. His objectives are clearly good, but his only strategy for accomplishing these goals is violence. 

Ease of play

This game's unusual control scheme will cause trouble for some. It's physically uncomfortable, and sometimes proves awkward, especially during ground battles. The game ramps up the level of challenge slowly, giving players an opportunity to master the interface before things get challenging.


Players spend all of their time fighting in the air and on the ground. They use bursts of bright energy and powerful sword slashes to down fantastical enemies that rarely resemble anything humanoid. Defeated enemies sometimes cry out in pain, but there is no blood or gore. Foes simply disappear.  


One of the game’s characters wears a slinky outfit that draws attention to her cleavage. Vague sexual innuendo -- including words like "naughty" -- can be heard in the game's dialogue, though infrequently. 

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Kid Icarus: Uprising is an action/adventure game starring a wise-cracking angelic boy who fights off countless waves of fantastical creatures in scenes that involve relatively mild but constant cartoon violence. Note that this game supports wireless multiplayer gameplay and the 3DS StreetPass wireless communication feature, but that players cannot speak to each other and personal information is not exchanged. However, younger players not accustomed to online play may grow frustrated by tactics used by some opponents, such as when groups gang up on a single player. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning parents not to allow kids age six and under to view the graphics in 3D because that viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.

What's it about?

The original Kid Icarus for the Nintendo Entertainment System and its Game Boy Advance follow-up represent an odd case of a game property that has reached near-mythical status among players despite remaining dormant for more than 20 years. That changes with Kid Icarus: Uprising for Nintendo 3DS, a fast-paced action game that puts you back in control of Pit, a winged, angelic creature fighting against the evil, fantastical forces of Medusa. Players spend half their time in the air, fighting flying enemies in on-rails sequences that have kids dodging incoming attacks and firing their magic bow. The other half of the time, they’re on the ground, where they have an opportunity to use Pit’s sword to take down earthbound baddies while sprinting through castles and courtyards. Players also collect new weapons, powers, and collectibles along the way, and have a chance to battle each other online or in local area network play.

Is it any good?


There's much to love and hate about Kid Icarus' long-awaited return. It looks great. The aerial sequences feature gorgeous scenery, and the special effects surrounding energy bursts and explosions are a delight. Also, the aerial battles are wonderfully satisfying. Players are rarely given a break as they blast through countless waves of foes, listening to pleasant, bantering dialogue along the way. It's instantly engaging.

However, the controls are physically uncomfortable. Players use one hand -- their left -- to bear the full weight of the 3DS (your right hands is busy wielding the stylus to aim on the touch screen), as well as control movement via the thumbstick and fire weapons with the shoulder button. It’s exhausting. In a telling sign, the game actually comes with a stand -- which defeats the purpose of a mobile game -- so you can give your poor hand a break. Related, the ground missions don’t live up to their airborne counterparts, thanks largely to the controls. Dashes and dodges are difficult, and camera control is awkward. There are moments of brilliance, but, all things considered, it wasn't worth the 20-year wait.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about playing games online with strangers. What steps do you take to keep yourself safe? What would you do if you thought you encountered someone dangerous while playing a game online?

  • Parents can also ask their kids whether they enjoy games that focus solely on fighting, or if they prefer other elements -- puzzles, dialogue, and exploration -- to be mixed in with the action.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Subjects:Language & Reading: following directions
Skills:Collaboration: cooperation
Self-Direction: achieving goals
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, strategy
Available online?Not available online
Release date:March 23, 2012
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
ESRB rating:E10+ for Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes

This review of Kid Icarus: Uprising was written by

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Adult Written byMr. Lovewell August 22, 2012

Sorry to keep you waiting!

Pit is finally back after 20 years in Nintendo's birdcage. The wisecracking angel makes his return on Nintendo's newest handheld, the 3DS. I'm going to make it simple. This game is good. There are some issues, but it is a very fine game. The graphics are crisp, the dialouge is hilarious, and you'll find that by the end, you'll want to do it again. This game is packed with things to do. Side missions can be played and various weapons can be created, leading to hours of replayability. The contro;s are difficult for a bit, but once you get used to them, they work like a dream. There was simply no other way to play this game with two analog sticks. The story is simple. Pit has to defeat Madusa and her army of darkness, who want to take over Skyworld and rule over the humans. Pit meets a colorful and witty cast of characters in his journey, even coming face to face with his dark half! Pit solves all of his issues with violence because honestly, they'd rather turn him into a shrimp and eat him! In conclusion, get this game. It's fun, and it deserves to be in your collection.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Educator Written byMr. Newman June 8, 2012

A fun and engaging title!

This game is a blast for young kids, teens, and adults alike. I played the original when I was younger 20 years ago and it was a challenging game! I then played the second one on the original game boy, Myths and Monsters. Uprising is a fun game and I enjoyed it as did my kids. It is an actiony game that teaches one to be respectful of others and nature. It also is quite witty and can really stimulate your child's brain. It even cracked me up quite a few times. The story is long enough and engaging enough to validate ones purchase. It offers some fun plot twists and the dialogue between characters are all clean and fun to hear. In terms of game play, the game takes a bit to get use to, but becomes easier after a bit of practice. The game also has a customizable difficulty so even younger audiences can breeze through without the experience becoming to challenging. Overall the game gives fun experiences with good morals!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bySynchronicity March 25, 2012

Despite weird control scheme, this is a fun and funny retro revival done right - tweens+ will love

"Sorry to keep you waiting!" I've been a fan of the Kid Icarus franchise, even though the NES was well before my time, and I became a big fan of its mix of platforming and action. So, imagine my surprise when, at E3 (gaming's biggest tradeshow/preview event) two years ago, Nintendo revealed a new Kid Icarus installment for the 3DS. Designer Masahiro Sakurai, known for Super Smash Bros., helped give Kid Icarus' angel protagonist Pit a new lease on life in Brawl, which seemed to be part of a plan to revive Kid Icarus. Well, it's finally here, a year after the 3DS' arrival, and the long development time was well worth it. KI:U is an elegantly crafted, well-designed and downright refreshing retro revival. The gameplay is pretty simple, but somewhat complicated: move with the 3DS' circle pad, shoot with the L button, and aim using your stylus. While I'm used to these sorts of controls, since I've played DS games that use stylus/D-pad coordination such as Metroid Prime: Hunters, Moon, Dementium and The World Ends With You, not everyone will like them. The stand included in KI:U is pretty nifty, but might not fix the problem a whole lot for some people (such as lefties, who would have to make do with the Circle Pad Pro, that $20 3DS attachment, or select a control option that's to their liking). Just try it out and see if you like it, if you're not sure. Now that the only bad thing about the game is out of the way, there are many, many good things about KI:U that shine through the control issues. For one thing, the graphics are breathtaking, especially in 3D. I still can't believe that a handheld can produce something this high-quality. The music is also good, and in keeping with the absurd nature of the game, it has a hilarious, self-aware script that often pokes fun at genre conventions, breaks the fourth wall, and even references other Nintendo franchises (such as itself, of course). Many chuckles can be had here. The replay value is also enormous: in addition to the 10-12 hour campaign, you've got a ton of weapons to collect, you can use the collectable AR cards (six come with the game, and others can be found by various means), you can play multiplayer (fast, furious and lag-free, it bodes well for Nintendo's new online service), and there are plenty of unlockables. Again, none of these things take a gamer by surprise, since this is from the man who gave us the three Super Smash Bros. games (the epitome of unlockable content). KI:U is also quite appropriate for the E10+ set, maybe one or two years younger. As stated, there's a lot of mild fantasy combat with a variety of weapons, but it looks about as realistic as a Saturday morning cartoon, and the mocking tone of the game helps mitigate a lot of things (even the scariest-looking enemies have a very campy look to them, basically). There's also a bit of cleavage from Medusa and a bit of mild innuendo, but those things are also found in many cartoons. Most kids who are about 8 or so have definitely seen/heard these things, by the way. Overall, this is the way to revive a classic gaming franchise. Aside from the controls, KI:U delivers on its lofty promises, and is one of the most innovative games to come around in a long while. Apologies accepted, Pit.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence