The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Beloved series delivers cleverly crafted adventure.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 42 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about solving problems when they become Link, the hero who's on a journey to find and rescue his childhood friend, Zelda. Kids can also learn about physics as they interact with the game's environments. Since this game uses players’ motions (made while holding the Wii Remote) in a direct relationship to Link's actions on the screen, kids can sharpen motor skills as they face off against foes. By reading through this story, kids might reflect upon the meaning of friendship, commitment, and honor. Kids must think critically and use big motions to fight, but learning is limited.

Positive Messages

Link, the young hero in this game, sets out to rescue his childhood friend, Zelda. The message is about fighting back against evil, following your heart, and protecting others from malevolence.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Link is a brave boy who is picked on by others early in the game, but proves his strength, agility, and nobility when venturing to the surface world to rescue the kidnapped Zelda. While Link uses his sword for combat, it is stressed not to abuse the privilege. Link is a kind person but does use violence -- in defense -- to bypass most obstacles.

Ease of Play

Controlling Link on the ground is easy enough, between the Wii Remote and nunchuk controller, but maneuvering your giant bird through the skies takes a lot of practice. As a result, the game is mostly easy to play but some may have difficulty in the air.


The game has some animated violence and small amounts of blood as Link takes on the many malevolent creatures in this game. There is no gore and enemies disappear on the ground after they've been slain. The player's actions while holding the Wii MotionPlus controller are precisely tied to Link's sword in the game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD is an adventure game that is ideal for tweens (and older) but not little kids as there is a lot of fantasy combat. Hero Link's main weapon is a sword that can hack and slash enemies -- and with the Wii MotionPlus controller is accurately modeled to the player's real movement in front of the TV -- which might concern some parents. There is a small amount of blood seen in the game from fallen baddies, but it disappears with the body.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTB Energy September 1, 2018

Full Game Review!

Now, Zelda, all in all, is a pretty good franchise, but has some things in this game that I'll be going over.

Violence: Sword being wacked at enemies...I... Continue reading
Parent Written bySteve S. December 2, 2011

Six Stars!

My 12-year-old son thoroughly enjoys this game! I have to agree that of all of the Zelda games he has (and that's a fair number), it is hands down the bes... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byknifeandfork April 8, 2015

Contains moderate violence

Skyward Sword is a real step forward in the series, with Wii Motionplus giving you full control of Link's sword. There is some violence, particularly an at... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySovaso March 7, 2012

Truly a Legend

This game is truly a legend. It has a 10/10 gameplay and uses great varity of the Wii software. The graphics, which combine the realistic graphics of Twilight P... Continue reading

What's it about?

As with past The Legend of Zelda titles, you play as a young boy named Link, who must rescue his childhood companion Zelda from evil kidnappers. Zelda -- not yet a princess in this prequel to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time -- was snatched from the peaceful floating islands of Skyloft and taken to the dangerous surface world below. To aid in his quest, Link is presented with the magical Skyward Sword, which houses a spiritual aid named Fi; she resides inside the blade when Link needs some guidance. Control and flight are two of the key differences between The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and previous Zelda games. With the former, the game takes advantage of Wii MotionPlus technology to synchronize your real-world movements with the controller and Link's swordplay in the game. Whether you're holding the sword skyward (up) to charge its magic, slicing diagonally, jabbing forward, or performing a spin attack, all the actions are precisely mirrored in the game. Link can also hop on the back of a giant bird, known as a Loftwing, and soar the unfriendly skies.

Is it any good?

Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a huge and ambitious single-player adventure. Much of your time will be spent exploring vast lands (including multiple dungeons, towns, and deserts), bypassing traps and other obstacles, engaging in real-time combat, talking with characters, and amassing an inventory of items that can be used to upgrade weapons and equipment. Visually speaking, Skyward Sword is the best-looking Zelda game to date but anyone who spends time gaming on an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or PC will no doubt feel the graphics are outdated. Also, be prepared for quite a bit of dialogue. It's often repetitive, too, so younger gamers may grow tired of reading all the text (and no, these lines aren't spoken aloud). Despite its few shortcomings, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an extraordinary adventure, whether you're new to the franchise or a longtime fan. It cleverly fuses multiple play mechanics together -- action, exploration, platforming, flying, puzzle-solving, and some role-playing -- all wrapped in a lengthy, enchanting tale.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the 25 year-old Legend of Zelda series and what makes it so special? Is it the classic good vs. evil premise? The tender relationship between Link and Zelda? The clever combination of action, platforming, puzzle-solving, and exploration?

  • Families can then talk about whether this latest game still has the magic, and if so, why.

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy games

Themes & Topics

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