The Trash Pack

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
The Trash Pack Game Poster Image
Mini-games based on collectible toys are marketing ploys.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

The Trash Pack wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

This game consists of multiple mini-games set in places like junk-filled backyards or behind the wheel of a garbage truck. There is a faint message among these mini-games that players need to be sure to keep the environment clean. However, the larger presentation of the game seems to glorify the trash. Players collect characters known as "Trashies," and some of them have unseemly (but clever) names (e.g., "Puke Pod").

Positive Role Models & Representations

While the mini-games do encourage players to clean up the streets and ensure that waste is properly disposed of, the main characters are "Trashies," who pride themselves on being dirty and dingy.

Ease of Play

The game is very accessible. The mini-games are easy to learn and require only basic gameplay skills such as jumping over obstacles and moving from side-to-side to catch falling objects. Players add characters called "Trashies" to their collection after successfully completing a mini-game, so the game is really about playing mini-games to collect as many Trashies as possible.

Violence & Scariness

This game is based on the "Trash Pack" line of collectible toys. This game will likely encourage players to go out and buy more toys so they can recognize them within the game. There is also an option for players to check off which real-world toys they own, so the game almost serves as a direct advertisement for the toys.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Trash Pack is based on the line of toys of the same name, which carries the slogan, "The Gross Gang in your garbage." This game is a collection of four different mini-games, each of which involves throwing trash, collecting trash, or moving trash. The positive side effect of the game is that players are helping to clean up the streets, but the focus of the game is on the garbage and how dirty it is. Players collect digital versions of the "Trashies" toys in the game, and the game also encourages players to collect as many of the real-life toys as they can as well.

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What's it about?

THE TRASH PACK is a collection of four mini-games: \"Trash Catch,\" \"Trash Attack,\" \"Trash Drop,\" \"Trash Toss.\" Each mini-game consists of a relatively simple task, such as catching falling trash from the sky, throwing trash into garbage cans, and getting from point A to point B while avoiding an onslaught of garbage. After completing a mini-game, players are rewarded with characters known as \"Trashies.\" The goal is to collect as many different kinds of Trashies as possible. The game also ties in with the line of real-world Trash Pack toys. It provides players with a checklist of toys, encouraging them to buy more of the physical toys until they have them all.

Is it any good?

The Trash Pack has few redeeming qualities and is designed only for players who are interested in collecting the real-world Trash Pack toys. This game's main purpose is to advertise a line of physical toys. It does not have any semblance of a redeeming storyline, and it is just not that fun. There are only four mini-games, each of which is very basic and does little to challenge players. Moreover, players will need to play these mini-games over and over again to collect more Trashies. It comes off as a repetitive and sometimes frustrating experience. Those who are really into the toys may find some enjoyment simply out of the fact that they can see their favorite Trashies come to life, but as a video game it falls flat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the level of consumerism in this game. Why was this game created? Would you want this game if the characters were not "Trashies"?

  • How well does the game present the message that cleaning up the streets is a positive thing?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS
  • Subjects: Math: estimation, patterns, sequences
  • Skills: Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, honoring the community
  • Price: $24.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Activision
  • Release date: October 30, 2012
  • Genre: Mini-games
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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