A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that LittleBigPlanet 3 is a family-friendly adventure game that comes with a powerful set of game-design tools. The story mode, which can be played with friends and family, leads players through a colorful, imaginative adventure. Violence generally takes the form of cartoonish hazards like burning platforms and spiky pits and is directed toward sack people and robots rather than humans. The creation mode allows kids to build and share their own levels and receive feedback from an active, upbeat community of players. Just keep in mind that user-generated levels may contain inappropriate content.
What's it about?
In LITTLEBIGPLANET 3, players take on the role of a cute, customizable sack person (a stuffed, burlap sack) entering a new realm within human imagination known as Bunkum. This colorful world has come under threat by an unimaginative fellow named Newton who (ironically named after the Enlightenment physicist) takes the form of a lightbulb. Bunkum is broken into a series of themed worlds that appear handcrafted, each composed of multiple side-scrolling and top-down platformer levels. Some require the talents of new playable characters, such as a sack puppy called Oddsock who can run up walls and leap great distances. Outside of story mode, players can once again create and share levels and games of their own design using a sophisticated set of game-design tools. These tools are introduced by a series of playable levels that coach kids in game design. Between one and four players can play at the same time, both in story and user-generated levels.
Is it any good?
LittleBigPlanet games are downright joyous. Chalk it up to the series' colorful and deeply imaginative faux 2-D worlds, its undeniably uplifting selection of music, and its clever puzzles and gadgets -- like the new velociporter, which is basically the LittleBigPlanet version of Portal's portals. This edition's new roster of playable sack characters provides an added boost of happiness. Each new character is designed to make users look at and exploit various features within worlds in fresh and innovative ways. Unfortunately, the game is a bit glitchy compared to previous entries in the series. We encountered a particularly nasty bug that forced us to start the game over from scratch. Once properly patched, the story mode ought to prove just as entertaining as that of any of its predecessors.
But the chief draw of LittleBigPlanet 3 is its creation mode. Once players have worked through the creation tutorials, they'll have the power to create objects of any shape, size, and texture; control the logic that governs object behavior; and create special objectives and conditions for winning. Consider this: Working from a blank canvas, players have the ability to create anything and everything they see in the story mode, from setting up a complex series of in-game events to determining where and when to start and stop background music. It's pretty powerful stuff. When they're done creating, players can share what they've made with the game's vast community. Don't be surprised when, a decade or two from now, some of the industry's best game designers talk about how they got their start playing and making their own games in LittleBigPlanet 3.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about online safety in games like LittleBigPlanet 3. What would you do if you encountered inappropriate user-generated content in a game? Do you think developers ought to monitor every piece of content created by users?
What sorts of things do you like to create? Which do you enjoy more in this game, creating or playing?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content
Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release date: November 18, 2014
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship
- ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence, Tobacco Reference
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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.