A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Teamwork and cooperation is crucial in the game. In 2-player co-op mode, two characters may need to pull switches at the same time, or one might need to hit a switch that allows the other to run under a gate and open it from the inside. When the heroes fight, they are forced into it.
Positive Role Models
Scooby and Shaggy talk incessantly of food and eating. This is, of course, true to their long-standing television characters.
Ease of Play
There's a steady increase in difficulty from the first level to the last. It doesn't rise too steeply, but the end of the game is far more challenging than the beginning. The two player cooperative mode makes playing with a friend easy to do.
Violence & Scariness
There's a lot of fighting in this game. The villains — ghosts, skeletons, werewolves and the like, all of which disappear in a puff of smoke when defeated — sometimes use scary weapons, like axes and hooks. Traps used can include swinging axes and other weapons. The teenage heroes punch and kick, and throw makeshift weapons like books and footballs. The injured disappear in a cloud of smoke. A few secret unlockable "costumes" can also provide the good guys with real weapons (a sword, hammer, ray gun, and popgun). Also be aware that many of the phantoms and monsters in the game are genuinely scary, particularly a headless menace.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Daphne gets all moony-eyed over a hunky sailor in one chapter.
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Nothing, unless you count "Zoinks!"
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Products & Purchases
Ties into the long-running Scooby-Doo cartoon franchise, but doesn't push the show so much as it celebrates nostalgia for it.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Not an issue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the fun, often clever mystery factor at the heart of Scooby Doo! First Frights is buried deep within a whole lot of fighting. In order to get to the clue-searching and puzzle-solving portions, children will have to bop, smash, and bash their way through hordes of meanies (and destroy a lot of property in the process). However, the true cooperative nature of the gameplay really does raise it to a different level than many other brawlers. Two players will never make it to the end without discussing their option and putting their heads together to figure out solutions to roadblocks and hide-and-seek sections. The chance to literally point the finger at the guilty suspect is one young mystery fans will really enjoy (even if the solutions are always pretty easy). It is important to keep in mind, though, that most Scooby-Doo fans are younger kids, and some of the villains in this game are just plain frightening.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of Scooby Doo will not be disappointed by the good, spooky fun to be had here. Despite the fact that the familiar characters have been made to look much younger, First Frights does a great job of keeping the spirit of its source material. There's a lot of humor (although, admittedly, the kind that makes a 7 year old laugh) and an equal amount of fright. However, it's disappointing that so much of the game is fighting-based. In addition to fighting, there's lots of exploration, clue-hunting, and puzzle-solving, all of which is enjoyable. Each episode also features a fast-paced chase scene in which characters simply have to stay ahead of the pursuing monster, jumping and dodging tons of obstacles in their paths.
After you've finished each episode, you can also go back to further explore those levels and find special items you might have missed, like costumes that give the characters extra powers (a sumo costume that lets Velma belly bomb bad guys, a space suit that equips Shaggy with a ray gun, etc.). These factors, as well as trophies you can win by completing specific challenges for each level (like finishing in under 20 minutes or finding 1,000 Scooby Snacks) add a ton of replay value.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.