Here at The Dadcade, Nick and I are huge gamers. But there is something else that comes well above and beyond our love of gaming – parenthood. As parents, we want to make sure that anything we play or expose our children to is at the very best going to be beneficial to them and the very least, not scar them for life. So with that in mind, we are kicking off a new type of post that will inform parents of games they can let their kids play or ones they will want to avoid. The ESRB is a great tool to use for getting a base judgement, but if you want more information on specific gameplay elements, scenes, etc. there really isn’t anything out there that we know of to fill that void. So, we hope this is helpful to fellow parents that game or to parents who have children who are interested in games but you aren’t quite sure of what to let them play. We are starting off basic, but over the next couple installments we hope to add in some additional points and coverage as we grow this feature on the blog. If you have any suggestions for games that we should cover, please shoot us an email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave a comment below. We’d love to get some reader feedback on what to cover in the future. So without further adiue: Can My Kid Play It: Lego Jurassic World.
Title: Lego Jurassic World
Systems: Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Lego games have been around for quite a while now. The successful Star Wars series made it’s way into most homes during the previous gen, and Harry Potter and Indiana Jones both continued that throughout the previous generation. With the recent release of Jurassic World, it’s no surprise that Lego decided to add this series to it’s library, but for the first time we’re met with a bit of a dilemma. Jurassic Park and Jurassic World aren’t for young kids, but Lego games seems to resonate with the younger generation. Lego had their world cut out for them to tone down the content to a much more age appropriate level and after playing through a good chunk of the game, I can say that they did a really good job.
First things first – death. That’s the big event in Jurassic Park movies that make it not so kid friendly. You’ll be happy to know that death isn’t really handled in the game at all. If you remember in the original Jurassic Park when a cow is lowered into the raptor pen only to have the crane emerged completely destroyed, that has been changed in the Lego game. Instead of the cow going in, he switches places with the crane operator in comical fashion only to have the crane guy drop into the cage and emerge moments later without his clothes on, all extremities safely in tact. The same can be said about the scene where the lawyer gets eaten on the toilet by the T-Rex. Instead of being bitten in half, the lawyer is swallowed whole only to emerge moments later inside the T-Rex’s mouth brushing his teeth with a toiler bowl wand. These scary moments in the game are “Lego-fied” if you will, into really cute and funny moments that even had a 31 year old parent like myself smiling at the cute absurdity. There are some scary moments like when the T-Rex roars or larger dinosaurs make sounds, but they aren’t that bad to be honest and are offset by the funny moments.
Lego games have always been hit or miss with some people. Either you love them, or they aren’t your thing and this one is no different. There aren’t any significant changes from the previous versions of the series and if Lego games didn’t do it for you then, this probably won’t change your mind. With that said, the same level of pick up and play in short bursts or long marathon sessions remains. Gameplay is incredibly easy to pick up and your kid will know what he’s doing within the first 15 minutes. Each character has a special skill that they must rely upon to solve puzzles and that can get a little confusing from time to time, but with a little critical thinking or trial and error, the solution can always be found without much agitation on your kids part. Be prepared to lend a helping hand from time to time if a difficult puzzle is in the way or some hidden item isn’t easily seen.
The game consists of two main sections that your can choose to play in. The original trilogy of films and then the newer Jurassic World. Through the game you’ll meet all of the characters from the films with some actors actual lines being dubbed into the game. It’s a little jarring when you hear it for the first time, but you’ll forget about it and it’ll begin to blend in a little more as you play. There is no strong language or cursing (this is a Lego game after all) so rest assured that Samuel L Jackson (outside of “Hold onto your butts”) won’t go off on your child during the first movie’s playthrough.
So, what age range best works for this game? I think the ESRB has it right, everyone can play it with the ideal range being over 10. With that said, I would allow my kid to play it if they were 6 or so depending on his maturity and love of dinosaurs. The movies themselves are rated PG-13, so if you allowed your kids to see the movie, there is nothing in here that will be anywhere near as bad as dinosaurs eating people on toilets. Lego games are a great way to let your kids experience video games, gain some valuable hand eye coordination, and have fun in the process. This is one of the safer bets when it comes to video games and your kids will love it.
Can My Kid Play It? Yes!