The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Vast adventure with some combat rewards logical thinking.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 52 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 180 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Scores of puzzles based on logic, physics encourage players to apply understanding of how both real world, this fantasy realm work. Kids will need to manipulate objects, make use of concepts including time, kinetic energy, magnetism, concussive force.

Positive Messages

Themes include characters taking responsibility, showing courage in face of mortal peril. Qualities such as curiosity, persistence rewarded in exploration, in solving puzzles, in battle. Mildly sensationalizes medieval-style combat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Link is a knight sworn to protect world of Hyrule. He does a lot of fighting, but it's to help others, banish evil from realm. He  also must call upon his wits to find novel, nonviolent solutions to many problems.

Ease of Play

Could take a while to grow accustomed to unusual button layout. Combat, puzzles both start off easy, grow more challenging over course of dozens of hours. Later battles, puzzles can be very hard.


Link fights fantasy monsters with variety of medieval weapons, including swords, axes, bows and arrows. Enemies don't bleed, but some break into pieces -- arms, legs, heads -- that continue to hop around. There's talk about war, death; Link encounters spirits of long dead. Link also can use his weapons to hunt variety of animals, including boar, deer, fish. No blood shown in hunting activities, but dead animals disappear, leaving behind items labeled as meat, guts, eyes, and so on.


Huge fairy-like woman has very large, bouncy breasts covered lightly in leaves. Link said to be in love with one of the champions of Hyrule, but their affection is discussed, not shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Side character shown in a state resembling drunkenness.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an action role-playing game set in an open world. It stars Link, a noble knight who must journey to defeat an ancient and growing evil by fighting monsters and solving puzzles, helping strangers whenever he can along the way. Combat against monsters involves swords, axes, bows and arrows, and other medieval weapons, but enemies simply disappear when defeated, and no blood is shown. Players also hunt animals, but their bodies disappear in puffs of smoke, leaving behind food items and materials for crafting. Some characters exhibit mild sexuality, including a two-story-tall fairy woman with large, bouncy breasts covered only in leaves. Another character behaves as though drunk.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byDave H. February 4, 2018

One of the best video games of all time.

We got the switch for Christmas and my mother got my son Zelda, Breath of the Wild. This is a game we play together and offers me great teaching opportunities.... Continue reading
Parent Written byRobyn P. July 20, 2018

The game play is for older kids, but my son played it with his dad and loved it

I actually really enjoyed watching my husband and 8 year old play this together. It's so beautiful and interesting. The side quests are fun and the game... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byEthanEagle May 14, 2020

Extremely addictive, extremely rewarding

This may be the best game I've ever played, but it is VERY difficult. It mixes combat with puzzles, and a nice hybrid of realistic and cartoon graphics. Th... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPrincess Aether February 13, 2018

The Great Fairies aren't over-sexualized, it's just hard to find giant clothes.

I've seen a lot of concerns about the Great Fairies and the violence. I'm a huge Zelda fan. In fact, I've got Oracle of Seasons and Minish Cap ma... Continue reading

What's it about?

As with all Zelda games, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD is set in the fantastical realm of Hyrule, a world filled with a mix of familiar animals and fantastical creatures and populated by several intelligent races, chief among them the human/elf-like Hylians. Players once again take control of the timeless hero Link, who wakes up without any memories in the Temple of Time and gradually learns that his kingdom was destroyed long ago. Now it's up to him to journey on an epic quest to defeat the evil entity that brought ruin to his country and nearly killed him a century ago: Calamity Ganon. Unlike previous Zelda games, this one provides players an enormous open world to freely explore. It's filled with plains, mountains, deserts, towns, and more. Much of the game is focused on exploration and survival, with Link needing to gather, kill, and cook his own food and work out how to survive drastically different climates, scale cliffs, and battle monsters. He also explores scores of shrines, each one containing clever puzzles that need to be solved to earn orbs that will increase his stamina and life. There are dozens of hours of side activities that can be tackled in any order players wish, but Link's primary goal throughout is to recover his memories, grow in strength, and gather the forces necessary to confront and defeat Calamity Ganon.

Is it any good?

Nintendo's iconic adventure series has finally taken its first steps into modern open-world play, and it's done so in a way few other franchises could muster. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an absolutely huge game, providing players with a vibrant and colorful world that presents itself almost like a living painting. And over every hill, ridge, and mountain lies one or more new locations that you'll want to explore, such as towns full of interesting characters and shops, shrines loaded with puzzles and treasures, imaginative monsters to challenge, and secrets waiting under rocks and within old ruins. Keeping track of everything would be nearly impossible were it not for Link's tablet-like Sheikah Slate, which lets you place pins in a map to denote areas of interests and allows you to capture photographs of everything encountered -- animals, monsters, plant life, and more -- for posterity or to be used as a method for future tracking.

A lot of this is common to many open-world games, but Breath of the Wild injects its own flavor via an upbeat atmosphere, quirky characters, and an all-ages sense of humor. More than that, it adds little details -- many to do with survival -- that other games haven't dared. A storm in the distance? Better store anything made of metal, lest Link risk getting struck by lightning. A mountain in your way? No need to go around. Link can climb virtually any surface (so long as he has the stamina required and rain doesn't come along to make the surface slick). All players need to guide them is common sense and a curiosity to seek and discover. Nintendo's designers have taken care of everything else. And in doing so they've created the first essential game for Nintendo Switch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an enormous game with few clear boundaries between objectives, making it easy to just keep playing, but how do you limit sessions based on duration rather than accomplishing specific tasks?

  • Discuss duty and responsibility. If you woke up after 100 years with no memory of the past, would you feel obligated to fulfill the obligations of your former self? What makes something your responsibility?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love role-playing

Themes & Topics

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