Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Littlest Pet Shop Friends

Littlest Pet Shop Friends

Spring 2010 Video Games
Ages: 6 - 10 yrs.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Price: $39.99
Gaming System: Nintendo Wii
Review:
Fans of the Littlest Pet Shop toys are sure to get a kick out of this Wii game. The 2D graphic representations are nearly as adorable as their 3D plastic counterparts; their colorful Wii world is perfectly suited to these little critters.

In this game we meet two new members, a bear and his best friend, a caterpillar. Bear enlists all the pets to help plan a surprise party. The player follows pairs of pet BFFs throughout the different parts of the world as they work to complete tasks for the surprise party. The linear structure outlines each party assignment and predetermines a pair of pets to complete each task. As players encounter new pairs of pets, they can name the pets and choose some basic costume customization from one of the boutiques.

The mini-game tasks range from grooming pets to baking treats to playing tag. Although the games range in quality, all can be played with one or two players. Cooperative play with a friend makes things more fun. Sometimes these mini-games have a direct tie-in to the party storyline, but often they're tangential to the overarching goal, leaving you wondering why the completion of each game is required to further prepare for the party. Although the game is designed to let players go back and play any unlocked mini-game or activity, the linear nature of the game maintains a strict step-by-step guided style.

Reading is required. Players have to follow the pet chatter to know what to do next, and must be able to read the instructions with each mini-game unlock. Although the youngest fans will have to wait at the Littlest Pet Shop door, the readers in the crowd should find the game just right for their interest and skill level.

Amy Kraft   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Amy Kraft is a freelance writer, producer, and game designer with over ten years of experience making media for children. She writes the blog Media Macaroni and lives in New York City with her husband, daughter and son.

Look for this product at:
Electronic Arts
http://www.beta.easports.com
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0029ZUPVI/parentschoice-20

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