The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Daring adventure with inventive puzzles, trains, heroism.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 32 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.


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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjackjenny July 29, 2019

Nice game for entertainment

I played this game not for a long while i can share my opinion with you regarding to this game because i played two series of this game. This is very interestin... Continue reading
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byFrightenedByPenguins February 21, 2016

Great adventure game with positive message.

Very mild swashbuckling violence, certainly nothing to concern anyone about exposing their child to. I found it also encouraged my boy to read more (due to the... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 14, 2010
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 p... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old December 1, 2020

Amazing game, family friendly!

I played this game for the first time when I was 4 and I loved it! However I had to rely on a walkthrough for the Fire and Sand temples, and the Compass of Ligh... Continue reading

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?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Price: $34.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: December 7, 2009
  • Genre: Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Fantasy Violence
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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