Lock's Quest

 
Tower defense game puts a lock on your heart.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters in the small town are very respectful of one another.

Violence

Very mild fantasy violence from punching to bombs as Lock protects his hometown from Clockworks.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this delightful and engaging E-rated game is too hard for young kids. Even if they could play, some of the items you need to make your defenses are too small for even an adult to latch onto with the DS stylus. The game has very mild fantasy violence in the form of punching and detonating bombs as the main character strives to protect his hometown from the invasion of baddies.

Kids say

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What's it about?

LOCK'S QUEST is a sheer joy to play. Made by the same thoughtful developers who brought you Drawn to Life last year, this deep and satisfying game features young Lock, an "archineer" who's part architect and part engineer. Lock's placid seaside village has been safe for years from marauding Clockworks, soldier enemies of varying strength. But no longer. Lock must save his kingdom from wave after wave of Clockworks by building towers, walls, and weapons.

You'll use the DS touch screen constantly as you put together various pieces to make walls, towers, and weapons. Initially, you'll deal with a touching, dramatic story as you get a half-hour-long, interactive tutorial on how to build and protect your town. This tower defense-type of game goes beyond strategy to include role playing elements. Not only do you build strong structures, as you kill off attacking soldiers, you level up (get more powerful) as well. And as you get rid of Clockworks, you get money called Source, which you employ to build more structures. There's a lot here!

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Admittedly, there's no audio conversation in the game, and the graphics are of low quality. But as you read through the story and deal with its plot points, you easily get sucked in, perhaps in part because of the heart-tugging music. When Lock's sweet little sister gets lost, you feel it in your gut.

Lock's Quest may be rated 'E', but it's for an older kid. That's because the items, sometimes millimeters in length, may be too tiny for kids to pick up and use, even with the DS stylus. Plus, the difficulty level of the strategy you must use ramps up appreciably in the later levels. Still, there's so much game here -- over 100 quests. And some can be played with one another person using the DS' local wireless multiplayer ability.

If you like tower defense games on the DS, this is the first. You can keep an eye out for another anticipated tower defense game which is coming in fall 2008 called Ninjatown.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how to build and protect things like houses and towers. What that mean to be a community? Would you want your town to be surrounded by a wall? Do you like building? Would you want to be an engineer or an architect?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Price:$29.99
Available online?Available online
Developer:THQ
Release date:September 8, 2008
Genre:Real Time Strategy (RTS)
ESRB rating:E for Fantasy Violence (Nintendo DS)

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Quality

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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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Parent of a 11 year old Written byksmit July 2, 2009
age 8+
 
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