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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
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 adventure game features a farting monkey, so while you might be shaking your head, your kids will think it is hilarious. A lot of the enemies wield arrows and swords or shoot at you with machine guns, but you spend your time avoiding their attacks and there is no blood. Also, enemies might moan when killed in this very short game.
What's it about?
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN is an action adventure game based on the faintly humorous movie romp starring Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a former museum guard. As you move through various levels meeting everyone from Amelia Earhart to Napoleon, you search for lost ingots from a magic gold tablet, collect items, save your friends, and halt an army from ruthlessly taking over everything you know to be dear.
While in the Smithsonian, you can ride Rex, the dinosaur, and interact with exhibits and characters from history. Gameplay includes using your keychain as a grapple and finding things using your flashlight. You can scroll through your ingots, to summon special powers like domesticating wild animals and summoning bolts of lightning.
Is it any good?
While this game won't win any awards for being startlingly innovative, it is a fairly solid children's game. Exploring the 14 levels allows for interaction with cool, famous figures from world history and limited exploration of one of the world's great museums, The Smithsonian. You'll even learn a few facts along the way. And the spells you can summon using the powers of the magic tablet can be exciting.
Yet there's a repetitive nature to some of the levels, and the collection of coins, gum, and pieces of postcards can become a little tedious. Plus, the game is very short, clocking in at about six hours for the main adventure. Some of the controls, like the grappling keys, can be wonky at times, too. Still, there's a charm here that, despite the general lack of laugh-out-loud humor, shouldn't be missed. But because of its length, it makes more sense as a rental, not a purchase.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about having a night at the museum. What would you do during your night at the Smithsonian? What is your favorite character from history who appears in the game? Is there anything from the movie that isn’t in the game that you’d like to see? Some museums allow you to stay overnight. Does the game want to make you do that?
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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.