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 based on the Disney show of the same name. Zack and Cody are pretty tame kids. They're nice to each other and try to help their friends solve problems, but they are also known for being sneaky and dishonest around adults.
What's it about?
Based on the Disney television show, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, this video game tracks the antics of two boys who live with their mother in the Tipton Hotel. In the television show, the twin boys constantly wreak havoc and harass the staff at the hotel. In THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY: TIPTON TROUBLE, players can participate in some of the twins' zany adventures.
Play begins with a tutorial mode, introducing the game's controls. Gameplay combines puzzle play and simple platforming, with an emphasis on puzzle-solving. Players alternate between playing as Zack and Cody; players will need to decide which character to move at certain times to solve these puzzles. The objective is usually to flip a switch or move a box.
Is it any good?
The game's graphics are wonderfully drawn and enhance gameplay. Players view the action as a sideways scroller, but characters can also move into and out of the screen on designated paths, which gives an illusion of more space. Players alternate between using the touch screen and the buttons to move Zack and Cody around. Using the touch screen is usually a cool feature of the DS, but in this game, the constant switching back and forth is cumbersome.
While the controls are generally easy to use, Zack and Cody sometimes appear to walk on air and are often stopped by objects that are not very close to them. There are some good design features, and the variety of puzzles is a plus. But the package as a whole just isn't as fun as the separate pieces, due to a lack of cohesiveness in the game. Ultimately, the game feels too much like a chore, rather than an adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how some tasks are easier to accomplish with cooperation, rather than trying to work alone. They can also talk about Zack and Cody's sneaky behavior. Why do you think they act that way around adults only? Why do you think twins are often portrayed as mischievous and secretive -- like the Weasley twins in Harry Potter?
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