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 Nintendo DS version of Shrek the Third is completely different from the console and GBA versions. This one's definitely the better game for kids; unlike the console version that's all about punching the bad guys, this focuses on puzzle play and allows kids to play together. The ratings also reflect the difference. The other versions are rated 10+ and this is rated E for everyone -- but matches the skill set of ages 7 to 12.
What's it about?
From the first Shrek movie, we know that Donkey loves parfaits -- and in the Nintendo DS version of SHREK THE THIRD, he's accidentally turned into one. This funny story line is only tangentially related to the movie and requires players to hunt for fairy dust so they can help undo Merlin's misplaced spell. Unlike the console version of this game, which focuses on combat, the Nintendo DS version is mostly about puzzle play.
You travel in the land of Far, Far Away as a trio of Shrek, Artie, and Puss in Boots, switching to the different characters as the need arises. Each character has his own special move, which you activate by drawing on the touchpad. Part of the puzzle play is figuring out which of the three characters you want to play as at any given time. At times, you can connect all three characters and must figure out how to move them as a team while you work your way through four locations, each with four levels of play.
Is it any good?
This is a better game for kids than the console version because it has less violence, and more emphasis on logical thinking. You have to figure out how to activate platforms and traverse them, as well as decide whose special powers can get you through a given area.
Another great feature in this game is that it's the first game to offer cooperative play using the DS wireless capability. Up to three players can play together, each controlling a different character as they play through the game. While the humor isn't as good as the movie, the gameplay is challenging and fun./
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