Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler Game Poster Image

Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler



Average augmented-reality gumshoe story with mild violence.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive messages

The mock-serious detective story about the murder of fairy tale character Humpty Dumpty is mostly for laughs, but it has themes concerning the pursuit of truth and justice, as well as perseverance.  

Positive role models

Diggs is a good friend to his pal Humpty, determined to find the people who broke him. He's tenacious, clever, and funny, using his words rather than getting into fights.

Ease of play

Players need only follow audio directions and visual cues that show when and how to move the Wonderbook and the PlayStation Move controller. It's pretty simple stuff, though the camera doesn't always accurately read when the Wonderbook is laid flat, which can prove a bit irksome. 

Violence & scariness

Players don't engage in any combat, but they will hear semi-humorous talk about the murder of Humpty Dumpty and later go looking for pieces of his eggshell. They'll also watch cartoon monkeys get into a fistfight with a worm and witness a short gunfight (no one gets shot, but holes appear in the wall).

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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler is a simple augmented-reality game that requires a PlayStation Eye camera, Sony's cardboard Wonderbook peripheral, and a PlayStation Move controller. Its mock-serious gumshoe story starring recognizable fairy tale characters revolves around a murder. However, it's the murder of an egg -- Humpty Dumpty -- rather than a person, and pretty much every scene is filled with kid-friendly humor. There's also a comedic monkey fistfight and a short, non-lethal shootout over which the player has no control.

Kids say

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What's it about?

WONDERBOOK: DIGGS NIGHTCRAWLER is the story of a gumshoe inchworm living in a land filled with classic fairy tale creatures. He's trying to get to the bottom of the murder of his friend, Humpty Dumpty, whose shell was shattered after a fall from his office window. It makes use of Sony's cardboard Wonderbook peripheral as well as the PlayStation Eye camera and PlayStation Move motion controller to deliver an augmented-reality experience in which the player can see him- or herself on TV interacting with a book out of which animated worlds and characters seem to emanate. Turning a page, for example, flips open a new 3-D CGI (computer-generated-interface) environment, almost like a pop-up book. The game is played by listening to audio directions that explain how to manipulate the book, perhaps tilting it left and right to steer a raft or partially lifting a page to redirect a lamp's light onto an important object. The action plays out over only a few short chapters, but players are encouraged to revisit completed stages and undertake photo assignments that involve taking pictures of in-game objects with the Move controller.

Is it any good?


Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler satisfies more often than not, if barely. The cartoonish graphics fit the game's fairy tale setting, and the large cast of fully voiced characters is cute and funny. The story, though unexpectedly short (a few hours at most), should keep most kids' interest. The action, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. Some of the augmented reality activities -- tilting the book to make the cover of a crypt slide off its base, twisting the book to examine different walls of a room -- are clever, intuitive, and satisfying. Others -- such as tilting the book to steer a motorbike, or spinning it to direct Diggs to walk in a specific direction -- are clumsy and grow old fast.

It's not very long, and some of the activities get repetitive pretty quickly, but kids who enjoyed the Harry Potter-themed Wonderbook: Book of Spells and have been aching for something new to do with Sony's augmented-reality platform should enjoy themselves. You just might want to wait until the price comes down a bit.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about detective stories. What makes them so interesting? The mystery? The characters? The suspense? Does this cartoonish story have these ingredients?

  • Families also can discuss augmented reality. Do you feel like you're interacting with the virtual world more in this game than in other, more traditional games? Does augmented reality make games more fun?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3
Skills:Communication: listening
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:December 30, 2013
Topics:Fairy tales
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence

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Adult Written byjohnwilliams February 11, 2014
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