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LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is a cartoony adventure game based on all four of the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean movies, including the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. While the game features a good deal of fighting, puzzle-solving and exploration are more key to gameplay than violence. And all the characters are depicted as LEGO toys, so a character "dying" is only seen as the toy figure breaking into its component pieces. Still, kids will have many chances to see LEGO characters get their plastic parts lopped off by swords. There is also a bit of very cartoony sexuality in the form of characters ogling one another in an over-the-top Looney Tunes fashion.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
LEGO PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN lets you play through the full stories of all four Disney Pirates movies, including the new On Stranger Tides. Starting from a port-of-call hub world (which itself contains hours worth of exploration and puzzle-solving), players can enter into scenes from the films. The storylines revolve around the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and his ragtag crew of pirates. While generally in search of treasure, the pirates tend to get sidetracked helping out friends in need. During the course of the game, they will battle enemy pirates, nasty soldiers, skeletal ghost pirates, angry island natives, and sea monsters. All the characters and much of the scenery is depicted in the form of LEGO toys.
Is it any good?
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean boasts all the best features of previous LEGO games: a whimsically satirical sense of humor, simple controls, vast environments to explore with tons of secrets to discover, and a huge cast of playable characters to collect and use in free-play levels. While you get your fair share of combat here, the focus definitely feels like it has been put on exploration and puzzle-solving (which seems appropriate for pirates). Each level contains a number of buried treasures that Captain Jack will need to use his compass to track down; some of the hidden items are necessary in order to move the story forward, while others are just to add more treasure-hunting fun.
There are so many cool secrets to discover in the hub world alone that you can spend hours playing around there in between levels. The LEGO games' typical sense of humor really shines here as well, with loads of visual gags that can make you laugh out loud. And it feels like the developers have made it a bit easier to earn new characters here, having many more low-cost characters available (you buy characters with the LEGO coins you find during play). If there's any real flaw here, it's the inability to save mid-level, which is a perennial problem with the LEGO games.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in the game. Is all the fighting and combat less impactful because the characters are depicted as toys? Do you think the level of violence in this game is too much? Or is it appropriate for the subject matter?
Parents can also talk to their kids about cross-promotional marketing. How does this game help to advertise products for both LEGO and Disney?
- Platforms: Mac, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PSP, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360
- Price: $29.99–$49.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Disney Interactive
- Release date: May 10, 2011
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief. [Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, PSP,and PS Vita versions are E10+ for Cartoon Violence]
For kids who love Legos and action games
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.