A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is about as controversial as the television show. It includes Itchy & Scratchy blood and violence (for the uninitiated, that's the show's parody of violent cat-and-mouse cartoons), some minor curse words, a few sexual references, and so on. In other words, if you let your kids watch the show there isn't anything in the game that will raise a red flag.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
With a zany story line crafted by the Emmy award-winning writers from the TV show, the Simpsons family -- Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie -- are aware they're trapped inside THE SIMPSONS GAME, and so they use their newfound special powers to live out their fantasies and help save their town of Springfield. For example, the overweight father Homer can unleash a serious belch or change into a giant ball of fat to roll over enemies, while bad-boy Bart, armed with a slingshot, can peg off baddies with ease or glide through the air with his Bartman cape. Most missions let you play as one of two characters, and in some cases you'll need to use one in particular to take advantage of their abilities. When playing alone, the game's artificial intelligence controls the other family member, but at any time a second player can pick up a controller to start playing.
Is it any good?
This video game enjoys smooth "cel-shaded" animation that resembles the TV cartoon, even with the move to 3-D. The game offers 16 distinct "episodes" and more than 8,000 lines of dialogue. While a fan of the TV show will get a lot more out of The Simpsons Game than someone who is not, it's evident a tremendous amount of effort and detail went into this ambitious game. The end result is an adventure that's more fun than making a crank call to Moe's Tavern.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how The Simpsons animated TV show was considered very offensive back in the early '90s -- Bart's underachieving attitude, Homer's language (which upset his religious neighbor, Ned), and some violence and gore -- but is this as big a deal today? Does the game push the envelope as the show did in its day, or is it now seen as clever, irreverent social satire? Does the game feel like an interactive episode of the show?
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2
- Price: $29.99+
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: November 1, 2007
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- ESRB rating: T for Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Language, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: August 25, 2016
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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.