The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Common Sense Media says

Magical "old school" adventure has heady puzzles and combat.

Age

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

You fight an evil wizard and his minions, which is somewhat of a good message, but fighting is a big part of this game, so the messaging isn't very positive. 

 

Positive role models

Link, the hero of this adventure, uses a sword and other weapons to defeat creatures big and small. Link is noble, heroic, and a defender of the innocent -- but he also kills thousands of enemies, which isn't good for a role model. Although there are some positive female role models, the Zelda games are often a damsel-in-distress/save-the-princess story.

Ease of play

Ideal for younger or novice gamers, this game has easy controls on the Nintendo 3DS and is played from a simple top-down and 2-D perspective.

Violence

Although the game is not bloody or gory, Link uses a bow and arrow, a sword, and magic to kill many creatures -- ranging from rats and birds to skeletons and evil knights -- in many dungeons and towns. The action is seen from a top-down perspective and therefore is not too graphic. Defeated enemies simply disappear in a plume of smoke after succumbing to their injuries.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

It's not tied to this game in particular, but Nintendo has licensed The Legend of Zelda brand to many companies. There are Zelda-related toys, books, clothing, and more.

 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds contains fantasy cartoon violence, but that combat is not bloody or gory. The game is played from a simple top-down perspective (eagle-eye view) as opposed to being close-up and realistic. Link, the hero of this game, is noble and a defender of the innocent -- but he also kills thousands of enemies.

 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • exploration

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • work to achieve goals

Emotional Development

  • empathy

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This mobile single-player game is fun and engaging and encourages players to explore, think, collect, and challenge enemies.

Learning Approach

Gamers will unravel the story by bouncing among worlds, exploring dungeons, solving puzzles, and fighting against adversaries big and small. There's a lot of challenging gameplay here as you switch between dimensions. 

Support

The game includes a tutorial to familiarize players with the controls and game mechanics, such as renting items. Players will get real-time information on how well they're doing.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • exploration

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • work to achieve goals

Emotional Development

  • empathy

Kids can learn about solving puzzles. The game also introduces kids to power struggles, good versus evil, citizenship, friendship, and loyalty. While kids will fight a myriad of foes as they navigate this adventure, the game also challenges kids to think logically. By playing A Link Between Worlds, kids must use their heads to solve environmental puzzles, including deciding when to flatten the hero into a 2-D painting.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS is an accessible adventure game in which players assume the role of Link, a young boy who goes on an epic quest to stop an evil villain's plan. With abilities such as interdimensional travel, sword mastery, and items rented from Ravio, Link can travel between Hyrule and the dark mirror world of Lorule, with its vast dungeons, and tackle evil to save the land of Hyrule. With its simple top-down view, this single-player mobile game has you exploring locations, interacting with characters, engaging in combat, and solving puzzles.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a highly enjoyable game that harkens back to the old 2-D Nintendo titles that focus on engaging gameplay rather than relying on slick graphics. With its well-designed dungeons (and maze-like environments), fun combat, head-scratching puzzles, and many secrets to uncover, this low-tech game is incredibly engrossing. Although some might get a sense of deja vu from a look and feel that's similar to older games, Nintendo has added some new features such as renting items, which adds more strategy; also, the environmental puzzles are more challenging than those in past games. Overall, casual or core gamers will get a lot out of this family-friendly adventure.

Families can talk about...

    • Is there still room for a portable game system such as the Nintendo 3DS when mobile phones and tablets have taken over?
    • How does this game stack up against Common Sense Media's top-rated Nintendo 3DS games?

    Game details

    Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
    Price:$39.99
    Available online?Not available online
    Developer:Nintendo
    Release date:November 19, 2013
    Genre:Role Playing
    Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Superheroes, Adventures, Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Wild animals
    ESRB rating:E for Fantasy Violence (Nintendo 3DS)

    This review of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 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.

    Quality

    Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

    Find out more

    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.

    Find out more

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    What parents and kids say

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    Kid, 10 years old January 5, 2014
    AGE
    9
    QUALITY
     

    Link Between Worlds is a kid game

    Link Between Worlds is a great game that most kids who like adventure games and stuff like that would be interested in. Parents there isn't any graphic scenes, Intense violence or course language or anything like that. So if your kid's ask for it you can say yes now.
    What other families should know
    Too much violence
    Kid, 9 years old January 1, 2014
    AGE
    9
    QUALITY
     

    The best!

    A great game that uses old designs but better graphics.
    What other families should know
    Too much violence
    Kid, 12 years old April 16, 2014
    AGE
    7
    QUALITY
     
    LEARNING

    Shines, but dulls later, like a crystal.

    The Link Between Worlds game is very hooking. The plot is like none before, and the action is on the spot during the main storyline. The art style, although adorable, sort of ruined it for me. If it had a different art style (Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword-esque), it would have made me bawling like a baby. After the storyline, the game dulls quickly. There isn't much to do after you catch all the Maimais, upgrade all the weapons, and complete story mode and Hero Mode. Overall, it's an 8.5/10.
    What other families should know
    Easy to play/use

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