Looney Tunes: Cartoon Conductor

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Looney Tunes: Cartoon Conductor Game Poster Image
Fun game exposes kids to classical music.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Typical Looney Tunes humor, saturated with over-the-top cartoon violence but always against the perpetrator, who is routinely outsmarted by a smaller, weaker foe.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of cartoon violence. Foghorn Leghorn smacks Barnyard Dawg, Elmer Fudd shoots Daffy Duck in the beak, Wile E. Coyote gets blown up by a giant stick of dynamite, and so on.

Language
Consumerism

Features characters and theme music from the Looney Tunes cartoons.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this rhythm action game accomodates three skill levels, from novice to very challenging. Scenes depict typical Looney Tunes-style situations where "bad guys" like Sylvester and Elmer Fudd routinely get their come-uppance by over-the-top cartoonishly violent means, like giant exploding sticks of dynamite or falling off the ledge of a building. Violence is not graphic and has no permanent consequences.

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What's it about?

One of the things that made the old Looney Tunes cartoons so charming was that the antics of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Tuck, Tweety Bird, and pals were cleverly synchronized to famous pieces of classical music like the \"William Tell Overture\" or Wagner's \"Flight of the Valkyrie.\" The rhythm action game LOONEY TUNES CARTOON CONDUCTOR gives players a chance to wield the conductor's baton (aka the Nintendo DS stylus) and guide the soundtrack of a series of Looney Tunes shorts.

On the bottom half of the DS screen is the \"conductor's score,\" where numbered symbols appear representing important musical beats as a piece of music plays in the background. The goal is to drag the stylus to each symbol in the right order and rhythm. A variation has players tapping the screen as symbols scroll to the bottom. As you play, a cartoon scene unfolds in the top screen featuring various Looney Tunes characters including Bugs, Daffy, and Tweety as well as Sylvester, Speedy Gonzales, Marvin the Martian, Foghorn Leghorn, and the Tasmania Devil, to name a few. The game provides entertaining feedback in that if you miss a note, you can hear the music go sour; on the other hand, a good performance will bring the house down with cheers and claps.

Is it any good?

The game offers three levels of difficulty (Apprentice, Conductor, and Maestro), twelve different music selections – all classical – plus techno remixes, and unlockable extras including bios for various Looney Tunes characters and sound clips of some of their more memorable catch-phrases. You can also watch and save replays of your favorite performance, or simply listen to the music by itself and read about the history of the piece and its composer.

Although the 12-song soundtrack is a little on the short side, Looney Tunes Cartoon Conductor is a solid music game with plenty of extras to please Looney Tunes fans. It's also a good way to learn more about some classic pieces of music and the people who wrote them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the game's fantastic classical music soundtrack. This would be a great opportunity to let kids explore some of the pieces in more detail, like listening to the entire Fifth Symphony of Beethoven, or some of the other movements of Holst's The Planets suite besides Mars, the one featured on the game. Before playing this game, had you ever heard any of the music featured in the game?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Release date: June 10, 2008
  • Genre: Music & Dance
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence

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