Where the Wild Things Are

Common Sense Media says

All-new adventure story is fascinating but edgy.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Max is an agressive little boy who inflicts damage on his environment without provocation. The monsters, while generally friendly, can get contentious. Ultimately, Max is a hero in this game by helping the Monsters.

Positive role models

Max's constant whacking of everything and anything in his environment creates an impression of a boy out-of-control. The monsters also seem to revel in destroying their world and wreaking havoc.

Ease of play

The game does a good job of teaching you the controls. The game play gets gradually harder, but the racing and platform puzzling is doable if kids keep trying. The river race comes at you very fast, and may be particularly hard for newbie gamers.

Violence

Fantasy violence in terms of thwacking oversized insects with Max's scepter or using bombs or rocks to blow up beehives. Gooey shadow creatures that look like spiders reach out to suck you into their black sticky material, but bopping them makes them disappear. If provoked, the generally friendly monsters can get so exasperated with Max that they will pick him up and swallow him whole. If this happens, the game resets to the moment before Max provokes them. The sequence is meant to be funny not frightening but very young children might not see it that way. You may see black vomit from a monster.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This is a game based on the movie and book of the same name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Where the Wild Things Are is based on both the book and the movie, but that it has its own unique storyline. Kids direct the intrepid but angry Max as he explores the island of where the Wild Things monsters live. Kids can release some of Max's anger by thwacking things in the environment like bee hives, gooey monsters, and flower bushes; but they can also direct their aggression at the Wild Thing monsters. If provoked, these monsters will eat Max, swallowing him whole in a visual than is meant to be silly, because as soon as it happens, Max is immediately returned to right before the eating occurred.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

Like the classic children's book and the movie of the same name, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE starts with little boy Max arriving on an isolated island where he finds a group of big scary monsters. Intrepid Max faces these yellow-eyed, giant-clawed beasts and roars back at them to get their attention. The first part of the game is spent by Max going on adventures with the monsters to prove that he is as wild as they are. Later in the game, Max discovers that something is seriously wrong with the Monsters' island and he tries to help them. During the game, kids will complete quests, collect hundreds of objects, fight pesky insects and gooey spider-like creatures, dance with and hug the monsters, race over land and in the water, and solve puzzles about how to navigate different environments.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The game is fascinating to explore. Each monster has its own personality which translates into a unique gaming level. When Carol monster puts Max on top of his head, players must direct Carol's movements as he crashes through forests where trees are constantly falling down. As you race, you have to decide if Carol should jump over or slide under each log, when to punch through shrubbery, and how to weave to avoid boulders and other obstacles. With the big feathered monster Douglas, he periodically leaves you a pile of feathers so that you can fly over great expanses.

While the world seems big, the story is linear and kids can only navigate parts of it at a time. The platform puzzling and racing gets gradually harder, but never too hard that you can't play through it. And since this is a kid's game, there are unlimited lives and frequent save points. Three levels of difficulty let you decide how mean the enemies that you must fight will be. Both Max and the monsters can appear angry and are seen taking their aggression out on the environment. Since Max only utters two lines in the whole game, he is a little hard to bond with even though you are controlling his actions.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why kids wanted to play this game. Was it  because you had read the book or seen the movie? Would it have been as much fun if you hadn't? Which did you like best? The classic Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are book, the Where the Wild Things Are movie, or this video game. Why did you choose the version that you did?

  • Do you think that the monsters represent a side of Max's personality or are they just quirky creatures?

  • Which monster did you enjoy playing with most?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
Price:$30-$50
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:October 13, 2009
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:E10+ for Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of Where the Wild Things Are 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; OK 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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Kid, 10 years old February 11, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

great video game but is very idiotic even the crude humor!

The movie was out of control with max's behavior and so was carl!I'm rating this for 11+ because the fantasy violence has gone nuts(intensely!)Don't worry I will play this on the wii tomorrow.
What other families should know
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