A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn some puzzle solving and practice solving problems with others in the two-player cooperative ("co-op") play in front of the same television. Most platform puzzles such as these require kids to think about how to reach places that are out of the way. The Smurf's 2 game is a way to relive the movie experience and challenges kids to some light environmental puzzles.
The game has a positive message because it's about friends banding together to rescue a fellow Smurf, who has been kidnapped (Smurfnapped?) by the evil Gargamel and his minion of Naughties.
Positive Role Models
You play as multiple Smurfs in the game, each of whom has their own unique ability. They are all kind and altruistic characters who want to help rescue Smurfette. Some parents, however, might not like the clichéd "damsel in distress" storyline. Why isn't it one of the male Smurfs who needs rescuing?
Ease of Play
The Smurfs 2 is very easy to play -- thanks to simple controls and straightforward gameplay. Plus, there's a lengthy tutorial and a "Help" screen to guide players, if needed.
Violence & Scariness
There is some light cartoon violence that is quite tame, such as jumping on an enemy, tossing small projectiles that can knock them down, freezing enemies using a magic potion, and so on. There is no blood, gore, or even realistic violence.
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Products & Purchases
The Smurfs 2 is heavily based on the animated movie of the same name, which comes out at the same time.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Smurfs 2 is a platform puzzler for younger kids, especially for those age 6 through 10. The colorful cartoon graphics, simple controls, and platforming gameplay should appeal to Smurf fans, both boys and girls; but it is not likely to interest those over the age of 10. There is some mild animated violence -- such as jumping on an enemy or freezing them with a magic spell -- plus a dung beetle throws brown pellets at you, to imply feces.
Is It Any Good?
As a game for young players, yes, Ubisoft's The Smurfs 2 is a charming, colorful, and a simple-to-pick-up game, whether you're playing by yourself or up to four simultaneous players in the drop-in-and-out co-op mode on the same television (or up to five players in the Nintendo Wii U version). Each of the Smurfs has their own unique abilities -- such as Vanity's poses and Papa Smurf's magic potions -- plus there are a half-dozen worlds to explore for a bit of variety.
Movie tie-ins usually aren't very good, but The Smurfs 2 proves licensed games can be done right -- just remember this casual game is for young kids and Smurfs fans alike, and won't likely appeal to anyone else. Note: The console versions of the game are more-or-less the same, but the handheld versions are a different game altogether and are not reviewed here.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.