The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Common Sense Media says

Daring adventure with inventive puzzles, trains, heroism.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Link and Zelda rise to the occasion to be brave and resourceful when faced with an overwhelming evil. This is a game where good clearly defeats evil. While violence is used, it is only in retaliation to being attacked.

Positive role models

Link is an unassuming boy who has just earned his train engineering degree. But when asked to help Princess Zelda and defeat evil, he doesn't hesitate to become the hero. Princess Zelda, in spirit form, also is brave and actively participates in the dangerous quests. This is no princess who just waits around to be rescued.

Ease of play

All play is done using the Nintendo DS stylus which makes controlling Link easy. You can also direct Princess Zelda when she inhabits powerful Phantom characters by drawing out a path for her to follow. The game also offers up to four players a head-to-head find the gems competition via local wireless connection using one game card.

Violence

Fantasy violence in terms of defeating little creatures who attack you and deplete your life points. You play as Link, and he can use a sword, a whip, a boomerang, bombs, and a whirlwind to defeat his enemies. Usually a quick conk with his sword will make the creatures disappear without any bloodshed. You may hear an occasional whimper of pain. But, if you choose, you can frequently just avoid the pesky creatures. The boss battles are more intense and require creativity in using the weapons at your disposal.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Legend of Zelda: Spirits Tracks is an adventure game with a great heroic story and challenging puzzles. It is the 15th installment in the beloved Zelda series of games, but you don't need to have played any of the earlier ones to enjoy this one. The game has some fantasy violence involving the use of a sword, a whip, bombs, a whirlwind, and a boomerang, but most creatures when hit, simply blink out of existence. And you can just avoid some of the troublesome creatures instead of fighting them. Some of the bigger "boss" creatures are somewhat scary and can be difficult to defeat. The game offers a limited multiplayer mode where up to four players can play using one game card.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS is the 15th game in the very popular Zelda series from Nintendo. You do not need to have played the earlier games to enjoy this one. Long ago, the Spirits of Good had defeated a dark evil and contained it by burying the spirit of the Demon King. They shackled the evil by spreading special Spirit Tracks (railroad tracks) over the world and assured its lockup by creating a Spirit Tower. But the evil is awakening and casting aside some of the Spirit Tracks. Evil minions of the Demon King have grabbed the ruling good princess Zelda and separated her body from her spirit. You play as Link, a young train engineer, and together with Zelda's spirit, you embark on a quest to save this land from the evil that threatens it. To defeat the evil, you must travel around the world while conducting a train, solve puzzles set in maze-like environments (known as dungeons), and defeat bad fantasy creatures, including several large ones known as bosses, by using your wits and your weapons.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is a great game for kids who like long adventures filled with challenging puzzles. The story is quite engaging, filled with fascinating characters and intriguing myths. The dungeon puzzles can be quite inventive because many can only be solved by drawing out a path for Zelda to take while you control Link. Other puzzles involve the driving of a train across intertwining tracks where other trains are also present.

Defeating a wide range of fantasy creatures (with no blood) is usually pretty easy except when facing the larger bosses. Your arsenal is constantly evolving as you add more weapons including a sword and shield, a whirlwind (which you activate by blowing into the microphone), a whip, and a boomerang. The game incorporates many other interactive elements including having you play a pan flute by blowing into the DS microphone. Newbies to this series, and die-hard fans will both enjoy helping Link and Zelda save the kingdom.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes a character heroic. What positive charactistics did Link reveal? And how about Princess Zelda?

  • In this princess adventure, Princess Zelda doesn't wait to be rescued, rather, she joins in on the quest to save the world. Can you think of other games in which a female lead is heroic?

  • Many of these dungeon puzzles involve controlling the movements of two people instead of just one. Did you enjoy the extra challenge?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$34.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:December 7, 2009
Genre:Adventure
ESRB rating:E10+ for Mild Fantasy Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 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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Quality

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, 13 years old Written byLanmola February 5, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

So much hate for so much nothing: PLAY IT!

I want to start this with saying this is a game that gets SO MUCH love from those who loves it and SO MUCH hate from those who hate it. The biggest reason is that Zelda games often has that medieval setting. Here you will see working trains, steam powered wheelchairs, and even electric ceiling lamps in one place. Does this ruin the great game? NO! And the trains are also clearly early models: far from our trains. This is a good sequel to "Phantom hourglass" and takes place about a hundred years after. Some characters like Niko are still alive, and others are clearly decendants of other ones, like Gonzo's grandson: Alfozno. Link (optional name) and Zelda are good and strong characters. They are trying to save the land of Hyrule from the Demon king, who has just begun his final stage in returning to life. Also, for helping people players earn "Force gems". Using these you gain access to new areas, giving you a reason to help out. Now then: the violence is more than you might expect from a such innocent game like this: you use a sword to attack enemies, in defence of course. Chickens, or Cucoos as you say in Hyrule, and Wolves whimper in pain when hit, and close to the end of the game Zelda and Link help each other to press the sword into the head of a Monster. There is a tender relationship between Link and Zelda but it's nothing much. You must also use logic and think a lot to beat the game, even in fights. All of this in two words: PLAY IT!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old September 7, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Awesome Game!!!

This game is so AWESOME!!! No bloodshed, so content is actually appropriate for all ages. Final boss might be scary for some kids, but otherwise no scary stuff. One of the best games in the series!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old June 14, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
This is a really good game. I got it recently and it really had me hooked. The plot is good, too. The main character Link has to defeat an evil chancellor who poses as a human in the beginning of the game, as well as his cohort, an evil, ninja-looking alien who casts off humans as worthless. The spiritual idea of the game is a bit questionable, and the antagonists of the story are trying to resurrect a powerful demon who is bound to the ground by train tracks. The story is very creative, though, and the touch screen control is pretty easy. The puzzles are excellent. I love to figure them out, but it sort of depends on the child. Some kids may get frustrated by the puzzles. Personally, I own many puzzle games and I love solving them. I'm also an action gamer, so this game is perfect for me.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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