A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Any messages that can be gleaned from the story are about fighting evil, standing up against injustice, and protecting the innocent.
Positive Role Models
Shard the owl is a clearly heroic role model who doubts himself at first, but rises to the occasion when he is needed.
Ease of Play
The flying and combat controls are relatively smooth. There's not too much to learn in terms of buttons or combos, so it should be generally simple for novice players to pick up. It's possible to do rather poorly and still complete missions -- you just won't earn a medal.
Violence & Scariness
This is basically an aerial combat game. Your owl will fly through the air, aim himself at enemies (like crows or bats) with a targeting reticule, and then attack the winged baddies with his talons or hurl hot coals at them. During fights, birds may be tossed around, losing feathers and shrieking, and can sometimes be slammed into rocks or tossed into water.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is a rather violent tale with lots of fighting and scary scenarios, but that all the characters are birds (or other flying animals). The fantasy aspect may lessen the impact of the violence a bit, but it's definitely an integral part of the game. Fans of the Guardians books (and, we assume, the movie) will already be aware of the dark storyline and the frequency of fight scenes throughout the tale.
Is It Any Good?
You don't have to be well-versed in the epic lore of the books (or even to have seen the movie) in order to enjoy the game, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. The lush, beautiful landscapes are really something special to look at (especially on the HD consoles) and the controls have a nice pick-up-and-play feel to them. The aerial dog-- er, birdfights are a blast to play. The actual attacks look pretty vicious and could definitely frighten little kids, but they're also quite exciting. There are a ton of different missions to work your way through, which together with the free-roam exploration aspect, adds up to many hours of unique gameplay. If you're a fan of air combat games, and think it would be interesting to swap your planes for birds, you can probably have a great time with the Guardians.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.