The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Common Sense Media says

Innovative gameplay makes this Zelda soar.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Non-graphic fantasy violence. Link's arsenal includes a sword, boomerang, and bombs. It's possible to side-step many enemies without fighting them.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Bars that serve milk are as heavy as it gets.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is a sequel to Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker on the GameCube, but kids don't need to have played Wind Waker first. The game has bloodless fantasy violence with swords, bombs, and so on, but since the main character gains no experience points from defeating monsters, players can avoid confrontation by side-stepping them in most cases. Aside from the fighting, there's no questionable content to note.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: PHANTOM HOURGLASS is the sequel to the GameCube's The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, continuing the story line and featuring cut scenes rendered in the same cartoonish style. Players once again control the boy Link as he sets out to rescue his pirate pal Tetra after she gets kidnapped during an encounter with a mysterious ghost ship. All the staples that have made the Zelda series so popular over the years are accounted for, including ingeniously designed dungeons, action-oriented gameplay based around Link's trusty sword and shield, and plenty of secret areas to discover. Here's the twist: It's entirely possible to play through Phantom Hourglass using only the stylus -- controlling Link in this manner will soon seem second nature.

Is it any good?


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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the character of Link is an unselfish hero whereas Captain Linebeck is cowardly and greedy. What does Link do and say that makes him into a hero, and how do Linebeck's actions brand him as a scoundrel? Do you like to play video games that are tied to an established brand the way this game is? If so, why? Did this game live up to your expectations?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 1, 2007
ESRB rating:E for (Nintendo DS)

This review of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byTimeBomb August 2, 2014

May be too dark for younger kids.

Rated: ON 11+ IFFY 10- OFF 6- for fantasy violence and some frightening sequences.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old June 20, 2012


Really adictive game. good storyline and Link is a positive role model because he shows good courage. i enjoyed collecting gems and sailing around.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 5 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 May 29, 2012


What does Link do and say that makes him into a hero, and how do Linebeck's actions brand him as a scoundrel? Do you like to play video games that are tied to an established brand the way this game is? If so, why? Did this game live up to your expectations?
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

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