The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Game review by Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 9+

Innovative gameplay makes this Zelda soar.

Parents say

age 8+

Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 8+

Based on 28 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community 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

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

Our Editors Recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate