A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is based on the Monsters vs. Aliens movie. The game emphasizes combat, with the monsters pitted against waves of alien drones, giant robots, and a handful of human jail guards. There are hefty doses of cartoon violence and explosions. Puzzles include throwing drones into an incinerator and firing them out of cannons. B.O.B. can suck up guards and aliens and spit them back out as projectiles. When defeated, enemies simply fall over and disappear.
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What's it about?
MONSTERS VS. ALIENS is a video game based on the movie of the same name that stars a motley crew of outcast monsters (Susan the 49-foot-tall girl, the gelatinous B.O.B., The Missing Link, Insectosaurus the giant grub, and the talking insect Dr. Cockroach) who become unlikely heroes when the army realizes that their unique talents could come in very handy to help thwart the alien invasion of Earth.
The game glosses over many of the movie's finer points (such as why Susan got to be the way she is) and focuses instead on platform-based puzzles and combat. Players take turns controlling Susan, B.O.B., and The Missing Link as they battle waves of alien drones and giant Shadow of the Colossus-sized robots. Each character has special attacks and skills: Susan rides around on makeshift rollerskates, The Missing Link has powerful jumping and spinning moves, and B.O.B. can slither through grates, ingest objects, and spit them back out. A second player can jump in at any time as Dr. Cockroach and help the primary player by shooting enemies and collecting monster DNA – the substance used to unlock special features like concept art.
Is it any good?
Monster vs. Aliens boasts some interesting boss battles and level design, especially the scenarios that involve using B.O.B.'s unique talents to navigate complicated environments made up of spinning platforms, grates, crates, and buttons. Gameplay starts to feel repetitive and contrived after a while, however, and gamers who are prone to motion sickness should beware of the constantly rotating camera angles. With tons of unlockables and extras, Monsters vs. Aliens is a solid enough platformer that it should appeal to fans of the movie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether it was fair to keep the monsters locked up just because they were different? What might be like to be like Susan and be 49 feet, 11 inches tall? What kinds of things would you do that you can't do now, and what daily tasks would be much more difficult?
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