Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Game Poster Image
Innovative gameplay makes this Zelda soar.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 26 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bars that serve milk are as heavy as it gets.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 year old Written byGhirahim April 27, 2018

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... Continue reading
Parent of a 9 year old Written byFrightenedByPenguins February 21, 2016

Very enjoyable adventure game with good story and plenty of puzzles.

Another great Zelda DS title, Link is a positive role model for any child that may want to grow up to defend the weak against the tyranny of an oppressive monst... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTyronBash2219 July 18, 2015

This is bad just do to the disappointment

This is easily one of the worst zelda titles it took all the good from the windwaker and turned it into a mess sailing is piss poor it is so slow and boring the... Continue reading
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'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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Price: $34.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: October 1, 2007
  • Genre: Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E

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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate