Rise of the Guardians Game Poster Image

Rise of the Guardians




Santa wields sword in combat-heavy, RPG-like action game.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game suggests that childhood icons like Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are something akin to action heroes who engage in frequent combat with the Boogeyman. Santa spends the entire game running around with a sword, chopping and hacking at enemies. It could play havoc with kids' images of these semi-hallowed figures.

Positive role models

The Guardians are all indisputably good, noble characters, but they engage in a lot more violence than you might expect. Whether they need to break someone out of a cage, save a friend from nightmare creatures, or just unlock a new teleportation location, their only solution is to fight it out.  

Ease of play

Use the control stick to move and one button to attack. That will get you through about 90 percent of the game. There are times when it helps to tap the special ability, combo attack, block, and dodge buttons, but they're generally not needed. Players of appropriate age shouldn't encounter too many problems.


The game's mythical heroes wield various weapons, including a sword, a whip, and different sorts of magic, as they fight smoky, shadowy nightmare creatures of many forms, including horses, crabs, and some vaguely humanoid in shape. There is no blood or gore, and no one ever screams out, but the combat is virtually constant. It's pretty much all players do.

Not applicable
Not applicable

This game is a product tie-in with the movie of the same name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rise of the Guardians is based on the movie of the same name. It stars cartoonish, warrior-like versions of characters like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny who do battle against the Pitch (the Boogeyman) and his army of shadowy nightmare creatures. Santa spends the entire game running around with a sword in his hand, slicing and chopping away at his foes. This game could play havoc with kids' images of these semi-hallowed figures. As the game progresses kids will dispatch thousands of enemies with various weapons and magic. There is no blood or gore, and the heroes never fight humans, but the combat is constant. There's virtually nothing else to do in the game, save try to figure out its labyrinthine levels.

What kids can learn


Social Studies

  • cultural understanding


Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy


  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

What Kids Can Learn

Rise of the Guardians wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn


Social Studies

  • cultural understanding


Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy


  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Rise of the Guardians wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

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What's it about?

Based on the Dreamworks movie, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS is an action game starring Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost in a fight against Pitch -- also known as the Boogeyman -- and his army of shadowy nightmare creatures. The Guardians, as they think of themselves, derive their power from the children who believe in them. They need to fight for kids' confidence in them by using swords, whips, and magic to defeat the smoky entities infesting their homes. Up to four players can play together at the same time (solo players can switch between characters at will), and all of the heroes slowly level up, gaining new abilities and powers as they dispatch baddies.

Is it any good?


Rise of the Guardians is essentially a dungeon crawler for kids, save that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost are put in place of the usual elves, dwarves, and mages. It might seem a slight difference, but it feels significant when playing. Seeing Santa -- or "North," as he's called in the game -- running around and hacking away at spooky creatures with a sword seems like something better suited to an episode of South Park than a game for kids.

Story and characters aside, the game isn't half bad. The mazelike levels will test kids' navigational skills, and there are loads of items to collect and little objectives to complete (friends that need to be rescued from cages, pals that need to be kept safe from bad guys, etc.). Plus, a simple, intuitive leveling system, complete with growing attribute statistics, unlockable abilities, and skill-altering crystals provides a good reason to keep playing. It's all very basic stuff, but suitable for a first-time dungeon crawling experience. Too bad that Santa is the character whose attacks you're leveling up. That just seems wrong.  

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. What's too much for your kids? Do they know when to pull back from things that may be too frightening for them? What signs do you watch for in determining whether something may be too intense?

  • Families can also discuss our evolving perceptions of well-known, beloved characters. What do you think of a game or movie portraying a figure like Santa as a sword-wielding action hero? In what ways might it alter your thoughts about who they are and what they represent?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS
Available online?Not available online
Developer:D3Publisher of America
Release date:November 20, 2012
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:E10+ for Fantasy violence

This review of Rise of the Guardians was written by

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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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Teen, 16 years old Written byRPG_MAGE January 18, 2013


This game is garbage. Just like the other movie games. But, there is nothing bad in this game
Kid, 11 years old April 11, 2013

The Rise of the Guardians!!!

I watched this film in the cinemas with my family. My little sister is six and she loved it, so I would say it is not that scary at all. It does contain some violence and a few scary scenes for children under the age of eight, who do choose to watch this film. It has a lovely message, to believe in the tooth fairy, Santa and the Easter bunny. I would say this is a great family film to watch!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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