Parents' Guide to

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Great action remake will appeal to multiple generations.

Game Nintendo Switch 2019
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 8+

Fantastic game, that's a little more accessible than other Zelda games

Great game, and highly recommend it. In terms of content and age appropriateness, all Zelda's have a darker 'big bad' behind them, than say the Mario games. So there's a little bit to consider there. Also the game ultimately involves slashing a lot of things with a sword, although no gore. Zelda also involves often loosely guided puzzle solving, that is more complicated than a Mario game. So for children who do not deal well with getting stuck for either a) boredom or b) frustration induced tantrums, I'd maybe leave it until they're older, and more able to figure out the puzzles (and therefore enjoy it more). Overall, this is the most accessible Zelda game though. - It's less dark - the bad guy is a bad spirit inside an egg. The menace is very minimal. I can't see this scaring the majority of children, whatever age. - It's less violent - with more cartoony battles than normal. But I think it would inspire role-playing with pretend swords etc. - It's easy to play - effectively 2D making control simpler to master, and the world is relatively small and self-contained. The puzzles are a similar standard to others though. Personally, even with a budding gamer girl (age 6) I don't think I'll be reaching for Zelda until she's at least 7, probably 8. Mainly because I think she'd just find it too frustrating. It requires patience and persistence to enjoy. The violence/darkness is less of an issue with this one. The plot/setting is a bit cryptic as well, and I'm not sure she'd get it yet.
2 people found this helpful.
age 7+

Great for Team Play

My son (5 1/2) recurved this game for Christmas. He had been playing Luigi Mansion 3 and loved it. So we thought he enjoy this too. Since he doesn’t read my husband and I knew we were going to need to help him. We helped him and he took off with it. He could do a majority of the game by himself. And when he got stuck we’d look up how to fix it or what he missed. There’s very little violence. No blood or gore. It was very fun for my son to play and replay!

This title has:

Great role models
Easy to play/use
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (13 ):

Remakes don't get much better than this. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening stays remarkably faithful to the original, bringing forward all of the key elements that made it an enduring classic. From puzzles and map locations to bosses and their weaknesses, players familiar with the Game Boy version may be surprised at just how much Nintendo's designers have kept. And the changes they've made -- such as making it easier to access items when needed, track important locations on the map, and move around the island -- are essentially quality of life improvements that shouldn't give purists any cause to complain. The visuals and music are all brand new, too, but are invested with such style and possessed of such reverence for the original that they are instantly iconic. The only potentially rough spot is the new dungeon building activity -- which could have benefited from giving players a little more freedom to create -- but the fact that this is the harshest criticism speaks volumes about the quality of the rest of the experience.

What might be most astonishing is just how well everything has aged. Link's simple combat skills -- basically just stabbing with a sword and blocking with his shield -- are still effective and gratifying. The thrill of discovering secret areas is just as potent as it's ever been. And earning items necessary to get past obstacles and access new areas is a compelling motivator to keep exploring. Even slicing swaths of grass looking for treasure remains weirdly satisfying. And all of this seems to be age agnostic. Older players are bound to experience a pleasant sense of nostalgia, but this is unnecessary to appreciate the rest of the adventure. Indeed, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a fantastic way for parents to introduce an enduring classic they played when they were younger to their own kids.

Game Details

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