The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Game Poster Image
Magical "old school" adventure has heady puzzles and combat.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

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.

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 & Representations

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
Language
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

What 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.

 

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Kid, 10 years old January 5, 2014

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 sce... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old January 1, 2014

The best!

A great game that uses old designs but better graphics.

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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?

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