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For the kindergarten crew
on January 13, 2008
This is a DS game that you can let your younger kids play without worrying about violence or inappropriate content. Although kids from eight and up may get bored very quickly, it can be played by kids as young as three, with some guidance.
There are two phases to the game, which has a little back-story about three stolen color crystals and colors disappearing all over the world. There's the Adventure mode, where you complete jigsaw puzzles, join-the-dots and speed coloring; and there's the coloring book.
Adventure Mode: Fairly easy puzzles that can be completed by most four year olds without help.
1. The Jigsaw puzzles have all the pieces the right way up, so all you need to do is find where they go and slide them in place. This is a novel way of introducing puzzle solving.
2. The Join-the-dots puzzles require only basic counting knowledge. Just touch a swirling rainbow and the puzzle appears.
3. The speed coloring game requires that you color flashing objects quickly, before a character fades away.
4. The Boss Challenge is the part where you catch a robber and color him in order to get back the missing color crystals.
5. To complete the Adventure Mode, you have to track down three robbers in different locations, unlocking crayons and coloring pages after completing each game.
This leads us to the Coloring Book, where the fun really begins.
1. By completing the Adventure Mode, you will now have 120 crayons to play with and 110 different pictures in six categories, namely dinosaurs, vehicles, farm, ocean, zoo and adventure.
2. Simple button options allow you to choose colors, erase mistakes, use a narrow or wide tipped coloring tool, and even choose between crayon and marker.
3. After coloring the object on the screen, you can also add grass, trees, sky or whatever your imagination requires.
The game saves itself as you go along, but in case you want to start all over again, there's a reset option. During play, a character named Tip provides helpful hints, but as there's no audio for this feature, basic reading skills may be required.
The only two negative aspects are that the three adventures all play the same types of games, which get boring after a while, and that the game is overpriced, all things considered.
Once the adventure is over, ask your kids to let you have a turn coloring - you'll find that it's great fun, but please remember that you have to give it back.
Amanda Richards, January 13, 2008