Wreck-It Ralph

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Wreck-It Ralph Game Poster Image
Movie-based platformer misses opportunity to be great.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn that no matter what other people think about them, they can prove them wrong and rise above being stereotyped. Kids will learn to be empowered and to take it upon themselves to shake off any misconceptions others may have. They can also learn that even if you don't like someone, if he or she is in trouble, you should still do all you can to help. In addition to these life lessons about empathy and self awareness, Wreck-It Ralph also challenges kids to solve some simple platforming puzzles.

Positive Messages

The overall message of the storyline in this game is that no matter what kind of hand you are dealt in life, you can fulfill your dreams and be happy. The central character, Ralph, is cast as the "bad guy" in a video game, but he wants to prove to people that, on the inside, he's really a good guy. Although he puts himself, and other characters, in danger, everyone ends up realizing the value of teamwork and learns that it's wrong to exclude people without getting to know them first.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although he is not the most graceful or heroic character, Ralph can definitely be seen as a role model because he proves that people don't need to live with stereotypes. He single-handedly changes the impression that others have of him, and helps to create a more accepting environment among the other characters in the game. Another central character, "Fix-It Felix," can also be looked to as a role model because he has a sense of duty and responsibility to help Ralph in his time of crisis.

Ease of Play

This game is designed to be accessible to young players. The main gameplay mechanic involves running and jumping through a series of platforms and mazes, while hitting enemy creatures as they appear. Players need to avoid being hit themselves, but it takes multiple hits before they lose all their health. Even when that happens, they are just sent back to an earlier save spot in the level where they can easily pick up where they left off.

Violence & Scariness

As players run and jump through a variety of different levels, they are faced with an invasion of "cybug" creatures. Players can make these creatures disappear by punching them or throwing hammers at them. There is no sense of gratuitous violence; the bugs are depicted more as minor obstacles for players as they make it through each level. If players get hit too many times, they simply return to an earlier point in the game and then continue.

Language
Consumerism

Promotes the movie of the same name.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wreck-It Ralph is based on the movie of the same name. Players enter the world of an arcade where all the characters from the different games come to life at night and interact with one another. As the main "bad guy" of the group, Ralph sets off on a quest to prove there is more to him than meets the eye. Players enter different game environments and must traverse through various levels in order to progress the story. Along the way, players will need to attack robotic bug creatures, but this is as simple as just punching the bugs to make them disappear. There is no sense of gratuitous or over-the-top violence.

User Reviews

Adult Written byizzyrocks December 12, 2014

Okay

This was a okay movie. I liked but I thought it was really scary and it was kinda boring. But other ways I really Liked and it and disney did good.
Teen, 14 years old Written bysweet620 December 14, 2012

Good, but kind of boring.

I bought the game, because I really enjoyed the movie, and it's a good game and all, but it's kinda boring...
Kid, 12 years old April 16, 2014
What a stupid movie!

What's it about?

WRECK-IT RALPH is the story of a decades-old video game character who has been type-cast as the "bad guy" from day one. He eventually decides he has had enough of that stigma and wants to prove to the rest of the arcade that he can be a good guy too. So he enters another arcade machine in search of a medal but when things go wrong, it's up to the perennial good guy "Fix-It Felix" to save the day. Despite his trials and tribulations, though, Ralph ends up proving there is more to a person than what's on the outside.

Is it any good?

Wreck-It Ralph seems to have missed the full potential of a video game based on the movie of the same name. The movie takes place in an arcade and takes players on a journey from a vintage, "old-school" game to a brand new action game to a family-friendly racing game. The opportunity would have been to create a video game that focuses on these three different gameplay types. Instead, this game is mainly comprised of a relatively uninspired series of maze-maneuvering and platform-jumping. That being said, players do get to explore different environments from the movie, and they do tie in nicely with the unfolding story. It's a good video game adaptation of a movie, but given that this particular movie is all about video games, it feels like there could have been more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the minimal level of violence in Wreck-It Ralph. Would there have been a way to make this game fun without any violence?

  • Do you think anyone has misperceptions about you? Is it possible to change their minds and show them what you are really like?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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