Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Game Poster Image
Fantasy game shows same story from different viewpoints.
  • PSP
  • $39.99
  • 2010

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The underlying story involves three hero characters. The player must follow the individual stories of each of these characters and learn that teamwork is essential, everyone has his own perspective on things, and working together can help overcome any obstacle. These positive messages must be set against the negative message that it is OK to use violence to solve your problems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The hero character is looked up to by his many friends and allies throughout the game.

Ease of Play

The game has involved battle systems and exploration that involves a good understanding of the role-playing genre. However, there are helpful hints to guide the player along the way. Even so, the mechanics of gameplay are somewhat deep and complex.


The player is required to defeat enemies in order to progress through the game. There is no blood, gore, scarring, or any other visible sign of damage to characters or enemies. The player uses melee attacks and magic spells, resulting in fantastical light effects and sound effects. There are also occasional grunts and shouts during combat. In some cutscenes enemies cry out in pain, and one scene shows a character shoving a large key into his chest.


There is one female character with a tight-fitting outfit. The character's breasts occasionally move excessively during cutscenes.


The game is filled with Disney characters and attractions.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is a prequel to the Kingdom Hearts series of games. It takes place before the original Kingdom Hearts game and relies heavily on story elements introduced in other entries in the game franchise. There are several Disney characters that appear in the game, although some of these characters handle combat situations with more aggression than when they are portrayed in Disney films and TV shows. They use swords and magic in melee type combat. The game supports multiplayer for up to six players on different PSP systems, however there is no online play. The story is very intricate, and encourages reading and puzzle solving.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byglobox85 March 28, 2019

Fun Disney RPG for kids and adults alike

In Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, the player gets to experience the stories of three teenagers called Terra, Ventus and Aqua as they journey through worlds ins... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old September 28, 2011
Teen, 15 years old Written by8viTech February 21, 2021

Really fun

There are three different paths that you can take following the three different characters. You meet lots of different Disney characters. I found that some bat... Continue reading

What's it about?

In KINGDOM HEARTS: BIRTH BY SLEEP, three heroes must work together to explore fantastical worlds and seek out a mysterious evil in order to restore peace. Each of the three protagonists has something special and unique to bring to the table. They must learn how to use the power of teamwork to find the character at the source of the world's troubles, Master Xehanort. As a prequel to the original Kingdom Hearts game, Birth by Sleep follows a story set in the universe that Kingdom Hearts players have become familiar with. It introduces characters and provides back stories that previously went unexplored. As such, many story components are laid out with the notion that the player knows about the previous Kingdom Hearts lore, though playing through older games in the franchise is not a prerequisite for this game. The general storyline of characters working together to provide support for each other while embarking on a quest to save the world is a universal story that anyone can enjoy.

Is it any good?

The Kingdom Hearts franchise has garnered wild interest because of its compelling storytelling as well as its interaction with likable Disney characters. Birth by Sleep is no exception. There is a lot of exploration around very whimsical environments, keeping the game fresh and unique through its numerous hours of play. The battle system is more about having a sharp mind and incorporating the right strategy than it is about attacking enemies with mindless rampancy. This provides the game with an overall captivating experience. The story is very well crafted and should keep the player intrigued and instilled with wonder throughout the entire game. In short, with a great story and lots of interaction with familiar Disney characters, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is a worthy addition to the successful Kingdom Hearts franchise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the three main characters work together in the game. Why is it helpful to work together with friends?

  • What are other alternatives to solving problems that don't involve fighting? Why do you think so many games involve violence?

Game details

  • Platforms: PSP
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release date: September 7, 2010
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes
  • Last updated: December 17, 2019

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