The Last Airbender (DS)

Common Sense Media says

More kid-friendly -- and better -- than the Wii version.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The story is from two points of view -- that of its hero, Aang, and its antagonist, Zuko. As a result, you get to see why Zuko makes the choices he does and see him as a three-dimensional character. The game conveys the message of not judging a book by its cover.

Positive role models

Aang is undeniably a hero, fighting for the forces of good. Zuko, on the other hand, has both good and bad characteristics. But even when he behaves as the villain, you get to see his motivation and understand that its not evil driving his actions, but far more complicated emotions.

Ease of play

The movement and battle controls, operated via the touchscreen, work very smoothly. They're easy to learn and relatively simple to pull off.

Violence

As either Aang, the hero, or Zuko, the villain, you will fight enemies hand-to-hand, with swords, or with magical elemental blasts (in the form of fireballs or air waves). People cry out when hit. Defeated enemies disappear while releasing green energy spheres that can be collected to heal your character. The most graphic violence occurs in story-telling scenes: A character is hit in the mask with an arrow and another is hit by an elemental blast. In both, damage is conveyed by black ink spashes.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game ties in to the live-action film, The Last Airbender.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this DS version of The Last Airbender has its fair share of fighting, it is far less chaotically violent than the film's Wii game adaptation. It is, in fact, an entirely different game. This one puts a lot of focus on exploration and discovery and has more of a sense of humor. It is more appropriate for the younger fans of the original Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series.

Parents say

Not yet rated
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Kids say

What's it about?

Following the plot from the movie, THE LAST AIRBENDER tells the story of four elemental nations (earth, air, fire, water) that are at war with one another. When the Avatar appears -- a young boy who is prophesied to have the power to control all four elements -- each of the nations seeks to get him under their control. The game's story is told from the dual points of view of Aang, the Avatar, and Zuko, the Fire Nation prince who has been expelled by his people and is out to capture the Avatar for himself. You get to play as Zuko on some levels, and also as Aang, the Avatar. A DSi-exclusive features allows you to take photographs of friends to see them in Last Airbender costumes and learn what elemental nation they would belong to.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Wii adaptation of The Last Airbender is a good game; the DS adaptation is a great one. Not only is it more age-appropriate for fans of the Nickelodeon cartoon series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it's a more interesting game. It's got far better storytelling, a neat sense of humor that's missing from the console version, and an open-endedness that encourages exploration in between battles. The controls work marvelously, and graphics, while less realistic than those of the Wii game, are brighter and cheerier.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Zuko's conflicted motives. Is he a hero or a villain? How do you feel when you have to play as Zuko, as opposed to when you get to play as the more obviously heroic Aang?

  • In this game, you get to see a lot of both Aang and Zuko as children. Do those segments help you to better understand why the characters behave the way they do later in life?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:THQ
Release date:June 29, 2010
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:E10+ for Fantasy Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of The Last Airbender (DS) 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.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byjsgman July 26, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
umm i think it is pretty appropriate
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byDisneyFan213 August 30, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 8 years old July 27, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Great role models

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