I finished the story mode tonight, along with some more of the Sandbox mode. There are parts of this game that I might be above the capabilities of a 10 year old, which is what the game is rated for. I have no issue with the rating of E10+.
Hand-eye coordination is a must, especially in some of the more frustrating levels where a jump too soon or too late, too far or not far enough, can mean going back to the beginning of the level. I’d say the most frustrating level of all was Bonnie’s House, where you not only jump platform to platform, but have to time everything correctly as debris floats by. Once at the top, you’re not even done. Then you have a wild rail slider as you put your spaceship back in working order.
There is no multiplayer aspect, so personal pride and GamerScore/Trophies is all the competition you get. There is some creativity involved as you can customize the buildings and people in the Toy Box, but it is minimal.
Some of the levels, like the very first part of the first level, are on a “rail” where forward motion is constant. In these types of levels, you sometimes have to make split second decisions as to which path to take. A lot of the game is platforming with some logic involved. Using various abilities like wall-jumping and ground pounding, as well as each character’s unique ability, are integral to success. There are some actual puzzles as well, but if you, like me, are a little slow to figure them out, sometimes the game will “cheat” a little to help you out.
Reading: None to speak of.
Math: In the Toy Box, you gather gold from missions and mining areas around town to buy toys you have unlocked. This shows a bit of math (do I have enough?) and financial responsibility (I want to buy this, but need to make more money, or I want to buy three things, how many can I afford right now?)
History/civics/politics: Only tongue in cheek “mayoral elections” as part of cutscenes.
Violence- all fantasy violence, toy on toy or environment on toy. Sometimes toys will be seen broken in pieces, but nothing living is harmed.
Lawlessness/Morality- at least one of the missions in the sandbox involves building a jail and throwing robbers inside.
Overall, the game is fun. The graphics are spot on for the movie, and the sound effects are great. As you run around as Buzz, you can hear his little plastic parts jingling, same for Woody’s spurs. As for voice acting, it sounds authentic, and many characters are, but Buzz and Woody are not actually voiced by Tim Allen and Tom Hanks. You can’t tell without a trained ear. As I said, difficulty seems to be a bit high for where I think the average 10 year old is, but since my oldest kid isn’t even 2 yet, I could be wrong. The game is fun for kids and adults. Even my not-2 year old daughter likes to sit on my lap and watch the toys play, but it could just be the fireworks and confetti for completing a sandbox mission.
Today’s haul: 5 achievements, 120 GS
The last story mission
In Buzz’s Video Game, make it all the way to the base without losing all health or falling off a ledge.
Collectables hidden in each level (aliens, townspeople, Zurg pieces)