Wreck-It Ralph




Movie-based platformer misses opportunity to be great.

What parents need to know

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

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.

Not applicable

Promotes the movie of the same name.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading
  • storytelling


Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles

Emotional Development

  • empathy
  • moving beyond obstacles
  • self-awareness

Engagement, Approach, Support


Learning Approach


What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading
  • storytelling


Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles

Emotional Development

  • empathy
  • moving beyond obstacles
  • self-awareness

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mark Raby

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.

Families can talk 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

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 30, 2012
ESRB rating:E for Mild Cartoon Violence (Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii)

This review of Wreck-It Ralph was written by

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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 November 11, 2012


DO NOT get it !.to walk you press the up button on the d pad ,to go back to game central station you bring up options menu the press the side buttons on the d pad .and then keep goeing tillyou got there . shugar rush is not a driving game . every thing is walk, break, jump, walk, brake ,jump. if you want to try i would say get it from redbox or somthing
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...
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 12 years old April 16, 2014


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