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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Simulation?

 

Publisher

Game Factory

 

Developer

Pasta Games / Neko Entertainment

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2007

 

 

- For the tricky 6-year old and under category of gamers

- Enough to do to keep small children engrossed for extended periods of time

 

 

- All text interface, rather than speech, means younger gamers will absolutely need adult guidance

- Those over 6-years old will likely tire of the small number of activities and no adventure mode

 

 

Review: Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

Review: Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (DS)

Review: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)

 

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Build-a-Bear Workshop

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

As a "mature" game reviewer Build-a-Bear Workshop represents a challenge since I wouldn't normally give a teddy bear building game a second glance (never mind a first glance), which is why this review was ghost-written by my 8-year old son and (almost) 6-year old daughter.  They are, after all, the target demographic for this game.

 

build a bear workshop          build a bear workshop

 

The first downfall of Build-a-Bear Workshop is that there's no spoken instructions.  If your kids can't read, you'll have to spend a couple of hours exploring the game with your kids (which is not a bad thing).  The interface and icons are simple enough that after a couple of hours you'll never have to set eyes on Build-a-Bear Workshop again because your kids will have figured out the general navigation and manage just fine on their own.

 

The most fun both my kids had was creating their stuffed bear, dog, frog, monkey, etc.  It was a process they went through over and over again. ("Because 

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- DS Game Reviews

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it's fun!" they both said.)  It's too bad that there weren't more options available to create your own stuffed creature, such as being able to swap body parts or add arms and legs to your creation. (Wouldn't it be cool to make a dragon? "I like my bear," my daughter told me.) You can outfit your stuffed animal with a variety of clothes 

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and accessories, but that doesn't really free you up to do whatever you want.

 

build a bear workshop          build a bear workshop

 

Once the stuffing (and stitching, of course) and naming process is complete there are a few mini-games to play and generally "rewardless" activities like swinging on a swing then booting a soccer ball through the air.  The stuffed animal can also be taught varying dance moves by drawing out designs on the touchscreen, play musical chairs, catch the honey, and various multiplayer games, which require individual cartridges for each player.  This is also a requirement (obviously) for the trading of items, which my kids spend an inordinate amount of time doing.  There are little distractions that offer coin rewards which can then be used to purchase new items.

 

The biggest stumbling point for my son was that there wasn't that much to do and exploration didn't go further than navigating the menus.  He's a hardcore Pokemon player so not being able to take his bear on the road and go adventuring limited the overall appeal of the title.  My daughter on the other hand could play this all day (if I let her) and not get bored.

 

- Omni

(January 8, 2007)

 

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