Parents' Guide to

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

By Erin Bell, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Innovative gameplay makes this Zelda soar.

Game Nintendo DS 2007
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 2+

Unoriginal, sometimes scary animated animal movie for kids.

Been there, done that; this movie recycles trite story lines seen in hit kids' movies, and doesn't nearly do them justice. The Wild follows yet another animated father and son, both wanting earnestly to win over the other. In fact, every element of the movie is recognizable from another, better one: The father must rescue his missing son (Finding Nemo). A group of city zoo animals travel to a jungle (Madagascar, not exactly better, just first). The bad characters perform "tribal" rituals and threaten violence (take your pick, including The Lion King and King Kong).
age 6+

Certainly Not The Best Zelda Title, But Still Worth Playing

I recently played through Phantom Hourglass once again, keeping in mind all the negative criticism that people have towards the game, and I honestly think they were over reacting. There’s so much to do in the game, even besides the main quest, like collect ship parts, fish, power up your sword using the Spirits, and fighting enemies. A thing that I feel that I have to mention, though, is that if you want a big, epic adventure like Ocarina of Time, a dark, twisted tale like Twilight Princess, or the somewhat maniacal, insane world of Majora’s Mask, than this is not the Zelda game for you. But, this game does serve a very, VERY important role in the Zelda canon, and a much needed genre for the series. In my opinion, other than the Four Swords Adventures manga, this is the only comedy base property in the Zelda Universe. This game features easily the best comic relief in the whole series, Captain Linebeck, who’s a sailor... That can’t swim. There’s also a fairy named Ciela, who gets in arguments with Linebeck quite often, which can result in some hilarious moments. Finally, you have Jolene, a feisty, she-pirate who used to be friends with Linebeck before he supposedly stole her treasure, which is shown in the Phantom Hourglass manga just to be a three year old piece of squid jerky. Now, there is the sometimes annoying Temple of The Ocean King, and the sailing can get a tiny but boring at times, but other than that, there is tons of fun to be had, and a solid edition to the Zelda canon to be uncovered!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (23):

It's remarkable how thoroughly and effortlessly Phantom Hourglass exploits the unique features of the Nintendo DS. To throw Link's boomerang, for example, you draw a line with the stylus telling the projectile where to go, which opens up all sorts of puzzle possibilities involving throwing it around corners and over chasms to trigger switches. Players will also find themselves charting courses for the ship by drawing a line from point A to point B on the sea map, signing their name to receive packages from the mailman, blowing into the microphone to snuff out candles, and labeling points of interest on an interactive map that is then displayed on the upper screen.

The adventure itself would be plenty, but Phantom Hourglass also features an innovative battle mode that two players can play over local Wi-Fi. Although abandoning the directional pad for the stylus might be a leap of faith for longtime Zelda fans, Phantom Hourglass doesn't disappoint.

Game Details

  • Platform: Nintendo DS
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release date: October 1, 2007
  • Genre: Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

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