A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids play this family-friendly game in the same animated world as the movie. Animals fight with golf clubs, hockey sticks, etc., but no one dies (the defeated just fade away); there's some crude humor, but none of it is too offensive. Kids can play the game in the single-player mode or with a friend in a cooperative mode. The game challenges kids to think logically as they figure out how to navigate through each mission, and there's a positive message about sticking up for friends.
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What's it about?
In the OVER THE HEDGE video game, kids have a chance to become the stars of the Over the Hedge movie. Primarily set one year after the movie, the game focuses on a group of undomesticated animal friends who sneak through the hedge that separates the wild from the suburban world, searching for human food and gadgets. They also need to rescue a friend who's trapped by an exterminator.
Kids complete over 30 mission-filled levels to win this game, which has three levels of difficulty. Each mission has clearly delineated primary and secondary goals; completing the primary goals unlocks the next level. Kids can play alone or with a friend in a cooperative mode. Players seamlessly switch between characters, and a second player can come in and out of the game on the fly.
Is it any good?
Dialogue is spoken as well as presented with subtitles. Kids can't get lost in the suburban sprawl because the game limits the area for play within each level. It's meaty, too. There are 135 primary goals, and there are three fun Mini games to unlock.
In the end, the game's not as funny as the movie, but it does extend the experience, even providing new characters and locations. Over the Hedge fans will certainly enjoy this game since it provides the same fast-paced action and clever interaction with the human world, while also offering a wide variety of gameplay.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about games based on movies, helping kids understand how games like these can be powerful marketing tools. Why do games like this get made? How does a game help promote a movie -- and vice versa? What's fun about these kinds of games? Does this one live up to your expectations?
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