The Polar Express
By Jinny Gudmundsen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Poor "save" feature dooms well-conceived game.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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.
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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?
- Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: THQ
- Release date: December 20, 2004
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- ESRB rating: E
- Last updated: November 4, 2015
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