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DS  header logo

Crayola Treasure Adventures

For: DS

No crayons required

Product: Crayola Treasure Adventures | Publisher: Crave Entertainment Group Inc | Format: DS | Genre: Adventure, Casual | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Crayola Treasure Adventures DS, thumbnail 1
Game type 1: Puzzle. Read: 'jigsaw'. User employs the DS stylus to reorient the scattered parts of a broken image.

Game type 2: Investigation. Read: 'join-the-dots'. User employs the DS stylus to connect a series of numerically ordered points.

Game type 3: Speed-colouring. Read: 'colouring-in'. User employs the DS stylus to colour-in a series of outlined images against the clock. Colour selection is automatic.

That, in a nutshell, is Crayola Treasure Adventures, although a narrative element pads out this unforgivably slim offering from developer Digital Concept. Apparently, goes the story, the three colour crystals have been stolen and the world is desaturating. It's your job to retrieve them, with your crayon-shaped friend TipTM, by travelling to three exotic locations and 27 sites in all.

"Our adventure begins in the middle of the jungle!" TipTM exclaims. "I've found this puzzle…"

[Insert 'Game type 1']

Once you've fitted the nine jigsaw pieces together, you move on. "There is a big Aztec statue here," TipTM says. "Maybe we will find someone to help us." Inside, a monkey appears and tells you that a suspicious character called the Color Bandit has recently passed through, carrying some kind of gem, which sapped the colours around it. "You have to do something about the missing colors, please!" the monkey pleads.

"My friend here will take care of it!" TipTM says, reassuringly.

[Insert 'Game type 2']

"I'm so proud to have a friend like you," the monkey says.

You carry on through the jungle until TipTM taps you on the shoulder. He looks pale. "I feel weird," he reveals. "Let's stop here and rest!" The reason for his illness immediately becomes clear. "My colors are slowly fading away! Color the flashing zones on the picture quickly!"

[Insert 'Game type 3']

"I'm so proud to have a friend like you," TipTM says.

You repeat this cycle three times and then catch up with the Color Bandit, a hunched vulture who's stealing the colors around him.

[Insert 'Game type 3']

That's it. Accompanying this, however, is a far better Coloring Book mode, in which you colour-in a genuinely massive range of themed pictures. There are 110 all told, and 120 crayons to fill them in with. You can select the brush type, from spray or solid, and the thickness, and navigating the many colours is simple and intuitive.

Being in a game for children, Coloring Book mode contains impassable borders between the parts of the pictures. If you go over a line with your stylus, the colour simply stops, which we can't help but feel is unhealthy. Surely children need to learn how to keep colours inside the lines for themselves. Isn't that how they become good citizens? It worked for us.

Still, using the spray effect it's possible to achieve some nice shading effects, so there's room for more talented kids to expand their artistic repertoire without resorting to the unthinkable last resort of real paper and real crayons.

The Adventure mode, similarly, will only appeal to the very youngest gamers, and perhaps not even to them. The generic characters that keep popping up come and go so quickly that it's impossible to warm to them, and the ailment they share won't mean much to anybody. The Tellytubbies may be asinine, but at least they have traits that every child can relate to, such as a fondness for ice cream and an inability to construct sentences. Who knows what desaturation feels like?

This is perhaps a little harsh. Crayola Treasure Adventures is not a game for adults, nor even for children, but for toddlers, and in the eyes of this noisy tribe it might have some very basic appeal. It's colourful, the music is bouncy, and there's educational value in tasks like Investigation, where you need to be able to count.

As such, it's aimed at kids old enough to count and read, but young enough to have virtually no gameplay expectations. Given that most of us are already turning inadequate games away at six or seven, this may prove to be a dangerously small target demographic, but if you think your nipper might like it, and you're prepared to have your DS dribbled on, by all means give it a whirl.
Crayola Treasure Adventures
Reviewer photo
Rob Hearn | 27 March 2008
Typically, Crayola Treasure Adventures is a far better colouring-book than it is a game. There's very little range, and the mini-games won't hold your kids' attention for long, but if you're sick of losing crayons down the back of the couch this may be for you
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