Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time




Raccoon thief stars in fun adventure with cartoon violence.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The hero, Sly Cooper, comes from a family of thieving raccoons, but we learn early on in the game he only steals from other thieves. Still, the hero's profession might not give a very positive message to younger players.

Positive role models

Sly seems like a good guy -- out to protect his family by traveling through time -- but he is a thief and proud of his family heritage. Even though he only steals from other thieves, his character isn't the best role model. However, one of the other heroes in the game, a turtle named Bentley, is confined to a wheelchair, but he doesn't let his handicap stop him from taking part in this adventure.

Ease of play

The PlayStation 3 game -- played for the purposes of this review -- is very easy to control, thanks to simple yet intuitive PS3 commands. The first part of the game serves as a tutorial, of sorts, with explanations on how to move Sly and control his actions.


The game has some light violence, including some enemies who fire pistols in a Wild West level, but any combat Sly engages in is with fists only and mostly masked with plumes of smoke. Parents should be aware that one of the playable characters, Carmelita, uses a cartoon gun to take down enemies. 


Many of the female characters show ample cleavage and in one scene, a female fox dances suggestively to distract male enemies. Phrases like "Shake it!" can be heard.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

This video game shows alcohol a few times, such as implied martinis -- triangular glasses filled with liquid and floating olives -- as well as bottles labeled with "XXX" and "Hooch" in a Wild West level. One boss character smokes a cigar.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is an action-adventure game about a cartoon thief and his pals. Sly only steals from other thieves and is trying to protect his family's name from a meddling enemy. There is a bit of fighting in the game, plus there are alcohol and smoking images and female characters with cleavage.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading


Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support


Learning Approach


What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading


Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • solving puzzles

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

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What's it about?

Available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, SLY COOPER: THIEVES IN TIME picks up right after the events in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. Gamers are reintroduced to Sly Cooper, a raccoon thief, and his friends, including a brainy turtle named Bentley and burly hippo, Murray. In the prologue, we learn the famous Thievius Raccoonus -- a "thieving" instruction guide that belongs to the Cooper Clan -- is being messed with by a mysterious meddler, and so the gang travels back through time to find Sly's ancestors and restore the family legacy before it's too late. You'll zap to periods of time ranging from Ancient Arabia and Feudal Japan to Medieval England and the Wild West. Played from a third-person perspective, this single-player adventure folds in action, puzzle-solving, and platforming elements. Much of the time will be spent stealthily traipsing around environments, dressing up in costumes, finding loot, and collecting items. The game is fully playable in 3D for those with supported televisions, plus the game offers cross-platform game saves between the PS3 and PSVita versions (sold separately).

Is it any good?


Yes, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a lot of fun, even if you're not too familiar with previous Sly Cooper games. With worlds twice as large as previous games, more playable characters (and costumes), tighter controls, and more detailed graphics, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a great pick that won't break the bank ($20 less than most other new PS3 games). Gamers will no doubt enjoy adventuring through the varied time periods, plus the solid writing and humorous scenarios are on par with past games.

While the stealthy sequences and platforming is a blast, the game does fall short in the combat department -- you simply need to button mash to defeat enemies, for the most part (depending on whom you're controlling at the time); thankfully, it doesn't take away from the overall fun factor. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time might not be "game of the year" but delivers the goods for tweens and teens. Note: The PS3 and PSVita versions of the game are the same, though the PSVita doesn't support 3D graphics.  

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether it matters if Sly Cooper only steals from other thieves. Does that make it OK? Does it give the message to kids as young as age 10 (per the ESRB rating) that it's fine to take what isn't yours? Or do kids at that age already know it's just a game?

  • Families can also talk about how you find good video games for kids.

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Price:$29.99 (PS Vita), $39.99 (PS3)
Available online?Available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:February 5, 2013
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, History
ESRB rating:E10+ for Alcohol Reference, Cartoon Violence, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco

This review of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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, 13 years old Written byged 10010 August 26, 2013

Brilliant game

brilliant game only things in it are hitting people with a cane (No blood) and use of tobacco
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2013

buy this game you wont regret it its safe and children like this game

its a great game for kids
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns


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