It’s a tale as old as time: the story of what happens when a fox-mouse-tiger-cat mechanic pairs up with a defective murder-robot to try to save the universe from an evil scientist with an abnormally large head.


For my final Tech-Less Mom column, my kids and I played Insomniac Games’ Ratchet and Clank for the PS4. I had a pretty good feeling about this game because within hours of giving it to my kids to play, my son was obsessed with it. Obsessed. There were many days that would begin with, “Good morning, Mom. So, in Ratchet and Clank….” It was intense.

When it got to be time for him to teach me the game, we got into a long discussion about whether or not I should watch the prologue in the beginning. My son said it was very, very long, but was helpful in showing me who was who and what the story was. I said I thought I could skip it. We ended up watching it.

So I got all the backstory on Ratchet, a Lombax who works as a mechanic in some sort of space garage. Ratchet wants to be a Galactic Ranger because who wouldn’t, and it’s his run through the audition course that is your first foray into the game.


Game play is pretty straightforward: You smash anything and everything in sight in order to get bolts, which is something I enjoy; you kill evil frogs with a wrench, which sounds like a pretty violent way to kill a frog, but these are evil frogs, so, you know; and you switch between weapons just by pressing the arrow keys, which is nice for someone as old and easily confused as I am. But the best part of the game is the narration, which is hilarious. Between Rachet being told at the end of his course run, “You might be our new galactic ranger…or maybe an intern,” to the captain of the rangers who tells him he’s “a loose cannon,” I laughed out loud multiple times.

The only downside to the game also involves the narration, however. When you die and start the scene over, the narrators say the exact same lines in the exact same places. Over and over and over again. As funny as their lines are, they are significantly less funny the fifth time around.

Ratchet and Clank plays out like a movie — the scenes that play between each setting are wonderfully done and the music is terrific (it’s got an Indiana Jones feel to it), and you end up getting attached to the characters, which is motivating but also makes it all the more painful when you accidentally drop Clank into a pit of lava four or five times in a row. Nevertheless, I loved it all.

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Nicole has been playing games her entire life. Now that she's a mom, she's passionate about promoting games as a healthy pastime to other parents around the globe. She has been an editor at IGN, where she launched and hosted the Girlfight podcast. In her spare time (which is not very much, honestly) she enjoys gaming, reading, and writing fiction. Most of the time she’s a mom to a crazy, intelligent, and exhausting little girl.