The Polar Express

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
The Polar Express Game Poster Image
Poor "save" feature dooms well-conceived game.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game has all the trappings of a great children's video game, but it may frustrate young players.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysmartwoman April 9, 2008

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

THE POLAR EXPRESS re-creates the story as presented in the movie and expands it by creating interactive Mini games and puzzles inside the movie scenes.

Activities include outplaying a wry jack-in-the-box in a game of tennis, and defeating a railway car full of toys in a food fight.

Is it any good?

The Polar Express video game has all the trappings of a great children's video game: terrific graphics, seamless integration of video sequences from the movie with the gameplay, memorable characters, and whimsically fun games and puzzles. It's too bad this well-conceived game is hampered by a poorly designed "save" feature. Instead of letting kids savor their victories, multiple activities are tied together with one "save" point. Frequently, the last activity is so difficult that children must replay it several times, forcing them to repeat the previous three or four activities as well.

Several of the Mini games are extremely difficult to win. Although targeted at younger gamers, the frustration level will be too high for kids ages 5 to 7. Older, more experienced gamers will find this challenging game interesting to explore, although they will suffer some frustration from the forced repetition.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether they enjoyed this game. Did you find the repetition frustrating, or did you enjoy retracing your steps? Which activities did you enjoy most?

Game details

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