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.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

Have you ever sat up from your in-depth studies of world philosophies and long-dead languages and thought, "Where do those festive little piñatas come from, anyway?" If so, you probably need a break. And Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise could be the perfect way for you to unwind.

This sequel to Microsoft's original kid fave is ready to fill you in on all the papery animal facts you've longed for. It opens the door to a virtual world where birthdays are pointless without a candy-stuffed creature hanging around. And gamers learn that all those colorful wildlife party favors aren't glued together in some remote factory. No, no. They must be captured or homegrown in the middle of a flower and vegetable garden tended by a skilled and loving gardener.

Can You Say Cute? Sure You Can
Players put on their gloves and sunhat after a troublesome guy named Professor Pester—who looks like a cross between a totem pole and a fire hydrant—tries to steal data about the world's piñata inhabitants. In the process, he accidentally erases all the knowledge from Piñata Island's main computer banks. So it's the player/gardener's job to breed and photograph his charges and repopulate that virtual encyclopedia while supplying the needs of parties all across the land.

The gardener starts out with a rather humdrum patch of ground. He must sprinkle grass seed, spade up the soil, plant flower bulbs and veggie seeds, water properly and eventually turn his or her plain plot into a plentiful paradise. Each of the required duties—including use of a camera to snap encyclopedia photos and a journal to keep track of the game's progress—pops up in a simple little flower petal onscreen menu.

And as the work begins, cute, curious piñatas start showing up to check out the now green and growing place.

Once these initial flower-lovers peek in at what's going on, your gardening duties expand to taking care of the piñatas as well. The first inquisitive grazers—such as the wriggly Whirlms and the pretty ladybugish Bispottis—only require a nice grassy spot or well-tended flower to keep them happy and encourage them to move in.

But as the game goes on, and more of the dozens and dozens of colorful piñata species are intrigued by your gregariously green thumb, you have to figure out how to keep transforming your garden—including mixing up the vegetation and creating the proper climate and soil—to best satisfy their needs.

Then, after convincing some nearby animals that this garden is the happening place to be, it's time to make some baby piñatas. But don't worry, piñata romance doesn't include rude come-ons or paper monkeys in lingerie. Players simply put together two of the same species with little hearts over their noggins and—after a cute disco ball dance—a critter runs through a minigame maze grabbing hearts while making its way to egg-laying bliss.

Sparrowmint Chicklets and Moosey Flapyaks
From there it's all about fulfilling challenges and sending happy piñatas off to the parties of their dreams while maintaining and defending your garden from the ever-pesky Pester who shows up with his minions to hamper your progress. Hit the shops for the latest seeds or fertilizer. Visit nearby lands to capture exotic piñata breeds. And keep the cute, delightful, candy-stuffed world happy and singing.

Sound like too much work for grade-schoolers to tackle? It's not really. Sure, it takes a little quiet thought. But it's a simple fun. And it comes with the side benefit of parents not having to worry about young Jimmy dodging bullets or little Mary getting any unwanted anatomical instruction.

Speaking of parents, a few might actually like this game, too. Kids, of course, will love the flashy little critters with their Candy Land charm. But Mom and Dad will appreciate the goals and rewards built into the gameplay. And if that's not enough, there's always the tantalizing idea that Viva Piñata just might help you solve all those papier-mâché mysteries that've been keeping you up at night.

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

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!