Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories



Unique GameBoy game (with a dose of Disney).
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Importance of friendships, memories and identity are all encouraged and stressed; good and evil characters are clearly identifiable

Violence & scariness

Some violence; however it is clearly fantasy-based and bloodless.


Minor swear words ("hell") used once or twice


Disney and Final Fantasy characters and locations are used throughout the game

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game encourages reading and strategizing, and it has a positive message. Parents should note that despite being blood-free, the game does contain some fantasy violence. Additionally, it uses well-known Disney and Final Fantasy characters, which creates some inherent commercialization concerns.

What's it about?

KINGDOM HEARTS: CHAIN OF MEMORIES mixes well-known Disney and Final Fantasy characters for another card-based adventure. Led by a mysterious stranger, Sora and his friends Donald Duck and Goofy enter into Castle Oblivion, and he discovers that Castle Oblivion is actually the memories of friends he met and places he visited during the adventures of the first Kingdom Hearts game. The stranger explains that Sora will need to use special cards to defeat enemies and gain access to other memories.

Enemies change depending on Sora's location -- for example, they turn into palace guards in Agrabah. Sora uses real-time action (moving and jumping) and special cards to attack and defend. Players need to select the right card or cards from Sora's deck throughout the battle. Special moves can be created by grouping cards and using the right combinations of cards at the right time.

Is it any good?


Parents should know that battles are bloodless and free of gore. Enemies simply disappear when defeated. Also, the game's story is uplifting and positive, focusing on the importance of friendships, of being helpful and kind, and on being true to oneself and others. Finally, much of the story is told through text, which encourages reading and imagination.

This sequel to the successful PS2 game Kingdom Hearts proves to be fun and challenging to play, making it easy to see why it has become a hit in its own right. While there are Disney and Final Fantasy tie-ins that may warrant discussion, this is a creative and challenging title. Good readers ages 6 and up will get the most out of the game. Even for older players, the card-based fighting is a refreshing change from the simple mayhem of first-person shooters.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about marketing with even their youngest children. Is playing a game featuring familiar characters and locations more fun? Does it make you think about these characters more? What do businesses like Disney have to gain by putting their characters in video games, or putting their images on other products like cereal, TV shows, or T-shirts?

Game details

Platforms:Game Boy Advance
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Square Enix
Release date:December 7, 2004
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:E for

This review of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories was written by

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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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Teen, 17 years old Written byluvanger October 11, 2009

Perfectly appropriate for kids, but more people than kids will enjoy it.

This is a very entertaining game, and this series is one of the most original things I've ever seen. There's nothing negative worth mentioning; there's some mild fantasy violence and very infrequent use of the mildest language. It's appropriate for everyone, but ages under six probably wouldn't grasp the concept of the game or be able to read some of the words used in game text. I would argue that some aspects are educational, with the game requiring reading skills as well as effective strategy and problem-solving skills. The game values friendship and respect for life, as well as displaying many positive role models. The game is fairly easy to play, as well, granted that you are old enough to have developed some basic reasoning skills. The game is also one of the few E-rated games that I will actually still play.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byDreamCatcher68 April 9, 2008

Challenging, but fun.

Card-battling takes a while to get used to, but most will get the hang of it in a short time. This game is fun, addictive, and best of all, challenging, but not overly so. My only dislike about this game is how the cut-scenes (dialogue, etc.) are very lengthy and full of fluff. Otherwise, this is a great game.
Teen, 13 years old Written byChaosBringer April 9, 2008

A dissappointment

I'm a huge fan of KH, so I was excited for this gamr. It was pretty good, but nowhere near as good as KH 1 and 2, mainly because of the card-battle system, which takes a long time to get used to. Buy it to understand the story, then play KH2 (the best PS2 game ever).


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