This is going to be one of my busier posting weeks – with five reviews in five days. Because of that, I figured I would go with a quick, lightweight review today about a pair of DSi download titles I recently had a chance to play. Tales to Enjoy! is sort of an overarching, almost ‘brand name’ for a series of games by Enjoy Gaming that target a much younger demographic than most video games.
The idea behind the two games I played was to present a story, and a handful of activities to compliment the content of the story. The two different titles I played were Little Red Riding Hood and Puss In Boots. This is stuff aimed at the roughly four or five year old crowd, so I tried to keep that in mind when playing these titles – but I also recruited a little help in the form of my eleven year old daughter. She sometimes enjoys games and toys aimed at a younger audience, so I figured she was as good of a recruit as I was going to find to assist me.
So both titles have the exact same modes and mechanics, they just put different coats of paint on it that reflect the story being told. Options include an audio and text story that you can advance at your own pace, a ‘create your own story’ mode where you click on things on the screen with your stylus to hear the DS say what that item is, a coloring book, and a handful of basic but effective games such as a sliding puzzle or match two challenge.
You can see just about everything there is to see in about half an hour, though the puzzle games do have a very gently escalating difficulty, so you can spend a bit more time with those if your child finds one that particularly appeals to him or her. Probably the most disappointing aspect of these games for me, was the lack of direction in how to play. Like a lot of downloadable DS titles, this one does have a digital manual, but a) that does not cover the specifics of the mini-games and b) would not be the ideal means of displaying that content anyway. It seems like a tutorial or demonstration would have been in order, especially for a small child who might not understand what it is they are supposed to do.
The stylus and small DS screen also lack precision in these titles. Sometimes you have to tap things multiple times to get the right thing selected, and the coloring book – while a nice idea – just feels a bit ‘sloppy’ at times. I do not think that is due to the programing necessarily, just the limitations of the touchscreen and stylus.
In truth, these two titles reminded me a great deal of the old LeapPad and Leapster games my youngest was into about six years ago. They are like digital activity books. If your kid likes the stories and characters being discussed, and enjoys sitting down in front of a coloring/activity book, then they might find something to enjoy here for a few hours. My daughter thought the voice work, visuals and music were pleasant enough, and she sat down and played both for about thirty minutes. That being said, she then sat down and played Luigi’s Mansion on my 3DS for the rest of the evening. That should show you the substantial difference in the type of content you are getting here. For that target audience of four or five years of age, we are probably looking at about a 5.5 or 6 out of 10, but for anyone else there is really no reason to pick these games up.