PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night Review
Help the PJ Masks defeat baddies in this side-scrolling platformer for preschoolers.
PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night is now available for consoles, PC, and Stadia.
We checked out the Switch version of the game.
What’s this game about?
PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night is a side-scrolling platformer and driving game that's inspired by the PJ Masks animated series for preschoolers. The game challenges players to help the PJ Masks foil the plans of villains like Romeo and Luna Girl.
How do you play this game?
PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night features a series of level-based missions that each have a standalone story.These stories are quick and simple and focus on topics like missing homework assignments or a foul smell that has spread across the city (as a couple of examples) -- there’s nothing overly sinister here.
Once the story for each mission is introduced, the PJ Masks jump into action, and players can drive to the mission location in one of their three vehicles. Catboy’s car drives on city streets, while Owlette’s vehicle flies in the air. Finally, Gekko’s vehicle can drive on the ground and “swim” underwater.
During these driving sequences, the vehicle will accelerate and steer around corners automatically, and kids can switch between driving lanes and press a button to speed up. Gems are scattered in the path in front of them, and kids are encouraged to switch lanes to collect as many as they can. They may also need to switch lanes to avoid obstacles on the road ahead of them (though “crashing” isn’t a big deal and only temporarily “stuns” the vehicle).
Once the driving section is over, players enter the side-scrolling platformer portion of each level, which allows them to play as Owlette, Gekko, and Catboy in each stage (the characters will be swapped out automatically as kids make their way through each level).
The platforming sections ask players to jump on and over platforms as they work their way to the villain at the end of the stage. While the controls for all three characters are very similar, each character does have a special ability that makes playing as each one unique. Specifically, Catboy can double-jump, Owlette can fly over long distances, and Gekko can climb up and down walls.
Plus, each character has a set of special abilities that are used as players progress. For instance, Catboy can use his super hearing to tell which way an enemy has gone when players come to a split in the path, and Gekko can use his super strength to move large obstacles out of the way.
Once players reach a point where one of these abilities is necessary, their characters will stop and they’ll be told which ability to use. A set of ability symbols will appear on the screen, and kids are asked to press the correct button to use the necessary ability. There’s no penalty for selecting the wrong ability, and kids can try again if they select the wrong one.
As players make their way through platforming areas, they’re encouraged to collect more Gems, as well as three amulets that are themed after the PJ Masks characters. If players collect all three amulets and/or all of the Gems in a stage, they’ll receive a statue as a reward at the end of the level (kids can also replay stages to earn these statues if they miss them the first time around).
Finally, when players reach the end of a mission, they’ll be able to confront the villain and “defeat” them by pressing a series of buttons as prompts appear on the screen. As with the super powers, there’s no penalty if players press the wrong button, and they can simply try again until they press the correct one.
Is this game fun to play?
PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night is an incredibly simple platforming and driving game, and it will likely be too basic and even boring for older players, teens, and adults. However, the game wasn’t designed for these audiences, and was instead meant to be played by very young players / preschoolers.
That being the case, the game offers a cute introduction to the world of side-scrolling platformers.
While most of the game offers simple gameplay that’s easy to jump right into, we do have a complaint about the game’s driving sequences. When driving Gekko’s vehicle underwater or flying through the air in Owlette’s vehicle, players can steer their vehicle up and down, as well as steer it left and right between driving lanes. Gems are scattered across all three lanes and sometimes at different altitude levels, and it can be tricky to tell where the Gems are located since there are no lane markers under the water or in the air. Kids may need to replay stages if they want to collect all of the Gems in these levels.
Is there anything else parents need to know about this game?
PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night features voice acting and subtitles, so players aren’t required to know how to read to follow along with the game’s story.
Parents should also know that the PJ Masks heroes will frequently encourage players as they make their way through stages, as well as remind them about specific controls and encourage them to collect Gems. Some of these lines of dialog are repeated very frequently (especially the dialog lines about collecting Gems), which may become annoying to parents and anyone else in the room.
What’s the final verdict?
PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night is a simple and cute platformer designed for very young players, so it definitely won’t appeal to everyone.
However, it’s a great place to start if you’re looking for a game for very young players who may not be quite ready to tackle platformers with more complex controls and gameplay features.
PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night is now available on Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia for $29.99. The game is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.
Disclosure: SuperParent received a code for PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night for coverage purposes.