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 - PS Vita is a side-scrolling adventure with a small amount of mild, cartoonish violence. It also provides a sophisticated game-making mode that allows kids to explore their imaginations and create just about any kind of game they can think of, and then share it with others. Its vast community of fans and content-creators seems genuinely interested in preserving the game's spirit of all-ages fun. These people do a good job of policing user-generated content and reporting anything out of place.
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What's it about?
The world of our imagination is once again in need of Sackboy's help in LITTLEBIGPLANET - PS VITA, the fourth game in Media Molecule's groundbreaking series of creative platformers. Kids begin the game by customizing their own burlap sack avatar, then head off to see how they can help a series of peculiar \"creator curators\" deal with problems spawned by an off-kilter puppeteer. Players work through dozens of levels filled with physics-based challenges, solving problems while collecting hundreds of spheres filled with items that can be used in the other part of the game: the creator mode. Creator mode allows kids to design their own levels LittleBigPlanet-style or even come up with completely different kinds of games, from pong-style two-player challenges to surprisingly lengthy role-playing games. They can then share these levels with the franchise's huge, thriving community, which is likely to inspire them to create even more games.
Is it any good?
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is a must-have for early adopters of Sony's latest handheld game system. It puts the device's multifaceted interface to terrific effect, making smart and sparing use of the system's motion and touch controls. For example, you can touch the rear touch pad to push objects in the background forward, creating new platforms and grappling hook latching points, and use the touch screen to throw switches and play musical instruments found in the environment. Some mini-games even have players turn the Vita on its end and use the right thumb stick and action buttons in a fashion akin to an old arcade machine.
But, as with previous LittleBigPlanet games, the Vita edition shines brightest in its creator mode and online community. This game gives players an authentic taste of what game design is like. It's an outlet for ambitious and inventive kids, and a place where they can connect and share the things they make with like-minded people. Few games act as a platform for such satisfying creativity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about creating things in digital worlds. Do you get the same satisfaction from creating something in a game as you do creating something in the real world? What advantages come with working with virtual objects?
Families can also discuss online safety. How do you protect yourself from online predators? What would you do if you encountered someone online who was bullying you or seemed to be probing for personal information?
- Platforms: PlayStation Vita
- Subjects: Hobbies: building, collecting, gardening
Arts: music, playing, sculpture
Science: gravity, physics
- Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation, evaluating media messages, using and applying technology
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, logic, strategy
Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release date: September 18, 2012
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and fantasy
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
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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.