What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the setting of this game (which is based on the movie) creates a bleak statement of the future of Earth because it shows a world ravaged by garbage to the point of inhabitability. The gameplay is very inventive, but too hard for the target audience of kids as young as age 5 who will be seeing the movie. Because the save points are infrequent and the camera angles sometimes difficult, the game can be frustrating. Also the instructions can be sketchy or not on the screen long enough, so the game requires patience and experimentation. As a consequence, we are setting the age category for kids ages 9-up.
What's it about?
Hollywood's new robotic darling, WALL-E, makes his video game debut in an action adventure game that is available across all platforms. Players control WALL-E, and occasionally his female love interest EVE, in nine levels of gameplay. The game recreates and expands upon the environments featured in the movie, including the wasteland of Earth as well as the gigantic spaceship called Axiom. Players relive the movie's story thorough video cutscenes, shown between the levels of play. Since each level explores a different location, the gameplay is varied. Most of the gameplay is puzzle-based, where your objective is to find ways to navigate through the terrain.
WALL-E, being a Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class robot, has the unique ability to compact trash and form it into useful cubes. Some cubes have weight that can be used to open levers. Others carry an electrical charge that can power up objects; and some are magnetic, which will affect metal objects in the scene. WALL-E can even bend into a cube shape himself and roll around so that he won't suffer damage. EVE, being an Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, can fly and shoot with a laser. She can also lift up WALL-E and fly him to places he can't reach on his own. These special abilities of WALL-E and EVE create exciting gameplay, particularly as they interact with environments full of moving platforms, explosive containers, and other robots and humans. Some of these puzzles are unique, including one where you need to roll WALL-E into a box shape and have him dislodge explosive barrels that roll into a giant robot blocking your way. Taking control of EVE to fly through tunnels produces an adrenaline rush because you are moving so fast. Multiplayer games also create some fun split-screen competitions for up to four players.<
Is it any good?
But all is not hunky dory in this video game based on movie geared at young kids. While the first level seems easy enough for kids as young as 7 to play, the difficulty rachets up quickly in the remaining eight levels. Plus the infrequent checkpoints -- the place where the game saves your progress and returns you to that point when you fail -- create a frustration that younger kids might just walk away from. Instructions can, at times, be hard to read because they are flashed too quickly on the screen or are inadequate, and camera angles can be a little tricky when you are trying to figure out where to jump to next. These factors make us set the age appropriateness at 9, instead of the movie's intended audience of younger kids.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the environmental message delivered in this game. What do we need to do to avoid the fate presented in the movie? What makes WALL-E, a character who doesn't talk, so appealing?