The Smurfs & Co

Common Sense Media says

Cute building sim relies on Facebook friends to help out.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most quests involve helping out in some way, such as building something that another Smurf asks for, or dropping by a neighbor's village to clear weeds. 

Positive role models

The Smurfs are generally cheerful and positive, but there are also some negative ones like Greedy Smurf, who is shown munching on a cake, and Grouchy Smurf, who is always complaining.

Ease of play

The game is intuitive, especially for players already familiar with Facebook sims. Players are guided through tutorials and quests, and the game is controlled with mouse clicks.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Players can use Facebook Credits to buy exclusive items and speed up quests. A pop-up window appears to purchase credits if players don't have enough credits to buy something. The game is based on the Smurfs license, and ads for the Smurfs movie and video games run along the bottom of the game window and appear randomly at start-up. One of the quests requires the player to "Like" the Smurfs movie Facebook page in exchange for a free item.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns: Players are prompted to share game achievements on their Facebook wall. Like its inspiration, FrontierVille, neighbors are essential to progressing in the game unless the player spends real-world cash instead, which might tempt players to friend strangers to gain more resources.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Smurfs & Co is a simulation game based on the Smurfs license that is played through the Facebook social network. The game is free to play, but players can purchase and use Facebook Credits to advance faster. The game can be time-intensive, and players must either rely on Facebook friends who are also playing the game to exchange items and help out with quests, or pay to unlock the quests themselves. While the game will appeal to players younger than 13, Facebook requires kids to be at least 13 to sign up for an account.

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What's it about?

In THE SMURFS & CO, players create a new Smurf village by clearing weeds and rocks and building structures (a concept similar to FrontierVille) while searching for ingredients for a special potion to repel the sorcerer Gargamel. New buildings increase happiness, which causes celebrity Smurfs (such as Brainy, Handy, and Greedy) to visit with new quests. Like FrontierVille and other Facebook games, it's essential to add Facebook friends who are also playing as neighbors in The Smurfs & Co in order to advance through the game's higher level quests.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Smurfs & Co captures the mood of the Smurfs' license nicely, with visuals that are plucked straight from the popular cartoon. As players progress in the game they'll be rewarded by getting to interact with more and more "celebrity" Smurfs, whose individual character traits shine through in fun dialog snippets and special quests. However, players will need to convince some Facebook friends to join the game (or "friend" strangers for that purpose) since having neighbors is essential to progress beyond a certain point -- unless, of course, players are willing to pay to unlock certain quests and items.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this is a good representation of the Smurfs franchise. What makes a good license-based game vs. a bad one?

  • Families can talk about online privacy and staying safe while online. Players should consider putting strangers on limited profile so they can play the game together but not be able to view private and personal profile information.

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Not available online
Developer:UbiSoft
Release date:August 1, 2011
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:NR for (Facebook)

This review of The Smurfs & Co was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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