Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

Super Mario 3D World

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Game Review

Mamma mia, surely everybody has-a heard of-a Mario.

I mean, after all the dozens of titles baring his chubby-cheeked and mustachioed likeness—games ranging from  Donkey Kong to  Mario Bros. to  Super Mario to  Mario Kart to Paper Mario—it's hard to imagine anybody who hasn't picked up a controller at some point over the last 30-plus years to bonk a Koopa Troopa or two. And, frankly, in the face of that overwhelming abundance of similarly themed games, it would be easy to disregard the release of yet another Mario platformer if you weren't a diehard fan. But the Wii U exclusive Super Mario 3D World has a few tricks up its colorful sleeve that could be worth a another look-see.

Bop a Bowser, Save a Sprixie
It's not that the story has changed all that much. That demon/turtle baddie Bowser is still chortling evilly and causing headaches. No, he doesn't grab up a pretty-in-pink princess this time. Instead, he's off on some other power-hungry scheme, you know, like bottling up little fairy-like creatures called Sprixies.

Mario, his brother Luigi, Princess Peach and a toadstool-looking guy named, uh, Toad, are all out enjoying an evening stroll in the Mushroom Kingdom when a little Sprixie pops out of a crystal pipe seeking their help: The Sprixie Kingdom is in dire need of a hero or two, and only Mario and his crew can save the day!

After the pals plop themselves down in that pipe and land in the land of Sprixies, gamers are instantly given a fun choice: You can play as any of the heroic protagonists (even Princess Peach!) or get some friends to join in with any Wii controller they might find and play cooperatively as all four.

Each of the little characters has his or her own special abilities, which can make some of the jump, explore and puzzle-out areas of the game just a tad more accessible. Mario, for instance, is equally skilled with medium-grade run and jump abilities. But playing as Toad offers a bit more speed in the run and chase segments. Luigi can leap up to heights Mario can't quite reach, and Peach's fluffy pink petticoats keep her aloft if the ground beneath her dainty slippers just so happens to fall away unexpectedly.

It's All Pretty Much Peachy
When you've chosen your favorite character, the goal is to play your way through eight different "worlds" that make up the Sprixie Kingdom. Each has a variety of vibrantly colored levels—individual platforming miniworlds that characters jump into, ranging from circus pinwheel challenges to spiky snowman slip-slides to underwater treasure troves to chases on a huge moving train. As you go, you must figure out how to fend off dozens of different Bowser minions, slip past all those twirling, spinning obstacles and beat a path to the flagpole endpoint before a ticking timer runs out.

There are a number of specialty minigames scattered throughout the different worlds too. And as you gather coins, special collectable stamps and, of course, a variety of power-ups, you're given extra boosts in tough spots. A little fire flower, for instance, gives your hero the ability to chuck fireballs at foes. And other favorites such as the Raccoon-tailed Tanooki suit and the mega-mushroom—which lets Mario grow to the size of a small building—are still in the mix. New bonuses include a cat suit power-up in which Mario can climb up walls. And there's a double cherry boost, that helps the little plumber and his buds clone themselves, unleashing all kinds of jump and bonk havoc.

The game world itself is, well, gorgeous. It's totally fun to look at while you're bounding and flipping through the eccentric and dynamic levels. Now, of course, a few of those levels sport a lightly spooky atmosphere with the likes of sharp-toothed Piranha Plants and haunted houses that are home to cartoonish Boo baddies. And there are a number of places that showcase nasty falls at the wrong misstep.

But it's all handled with a nimble eye roll of comic silliness and give-it-another-try cheer. It's an instantly accessible and infectiously appealing, reach-out-and-touch-it place where gamers of all ages can bop mystery treasure boxes and bonk goofy bug-eyed Goombas while finding a way to protect the innocent. And who hasn't wanted to best Bowser while playing as the peachy princess in pink?

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews




Readability Age Range


Arcade/Platform, Action/Adventure







Record Label


Wii U




November 22, 2013


Year Published



Bob Hoose

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!