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The Legend of Zelda

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

The Legend of Zelda (1986) is an adventure game where you venture through a mysterious land and fight enemies. As you explore, you use your sword and shield to defeat monsters you find secrets and puzzle-filled dungeons. As the first game in The Legend of Zelda series, it already features the sense of heroic exploration and adventure that makes the games so popular.

You play Link and travel the land in an attempt to save Princess Zelda. To do so, you must reassemble an ancient artefact to save the kingdom of Hyrule from the grasp of Ganon, the Prince of Darkness. As you wander scorching deserts and ancient forests, you fight off enemies with your trusty sword and enter perilous dungeons to gather their treasure.

Play involves moving through the world and using your sword to attack and defeat enemies. You're given no objectives, map, or hints, with the game instead leaving you to discover things for yourself, or else refer to the surprisingly detailed guide that came with the game.

The result is a game that, although simple, contains all the adventure and heroism that makes Zelda games so popular. Exploring the unfamiliar world and stumbling upon secrets and mysteries is hugely exciting and makes hours of enjoyment.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked The Legend of Zelda a year ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 3 weeks ago.
There are lots of games similar to The Legend of Zelda. Here are some we picked for you:

Play StylePlay Style

This is an Action and Adventure game with Fighting, Narrative and Traversal elements. This is a single-player game.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Play Time: This game will take between 3 hours and 16 hours to complete. The game offers no hints, quests, or navigational guides, instead letting you explore the land of Hyrule by yourself unless you use the tips and map in the manual that came with the game. This means that, although the game can be beaten in only a few hours, you can spend much longer exploring, defeating enemies, and trying to find secrets and new areas.


This game is good if you want to:

This game has helped players develop their Disposition as part of the following pathways:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 7 for Violence for mild violence that lacks any apparent harm or injury to fantasy or mythical beings and creatures, as well as non-realistic looking violence towards characters which, although human, are not very detailed. The graphics are pixelated and non-detailed. Enemies flash when hit and disappear when defeated, without visible harm.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE for Mild Fantasy Violence. Players use a small sword, arrows, and cartoony bombs to defeat enemies that generally blink when injured or vanish quickly when defeated.

Skill Level

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. You need really strong perseverance and inquisitiveness to find a way forward, along with some outside the box thinking for the puzzles.

Our Game Pathways reveal how 10-year-olds play this game:


You can only play this on older systems (Game Boy Advance and Nintendo Entertainment System) but can usually find it second hand on eBay. There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 21/02/1986

Out Now: GBA and NES

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Action, Adventure (Fighting, Narrative and Traversal)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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