A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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