Crayola Treasure Adventures DS
Published by: Ignition Entertainment
Developed by: Digital Concept Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Crayola Treasure Adventures is strictly a game for young children who enjoy colouring and don’t mind a few simplistic puzzles thrown in for good measure. The game comes with 120 crayons and 110 pictures to colour in. The pictures cover a decent range of subjects which should ensure that there are a fair amount of pictures to appeal to most young gamers. In many ways a product like this makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider how many families have access to a DS and how intuitive it is to use the DS as a virtual colouring book. There are a few problems that prevent Crayola Treasure Adventures being as good as it could have been however.
The game gives you a choice of Adventure and Colouring Book modes. If you're expecting to load up the game for the first time and enjoy the Colouring Book mode with a full set of crayons to use on your pictures, you’re going to be in for a surprise. In Crayola Treasure Adventures you’re going to have to earn a majority of the crayons before you can use them. In order to unlock the crayons, you’ll need to play the Adventure mode. The storyline here is rather simplistic but it suffices. The three Colour Crystals have disappeared and colours are disappearing all over the world. It’s up to you and your companion, Tip, to retrieve the Colour Crystals and restore the missing colours. There are three adventures to complete where you’ll visit all kinds of locations, meet different characters and of course you’ll obtain those missing colours.
In Adventure mode you’ll essentially have three different kinds of puzzles to solve which all use the stylus (in fact you’ll use the stylus for every aspect of control in the game) and they are very easy. There are jigsaw puzzles which simply require you to drag the pieces into the correct locations as there is no piece rotating to be done and there aren’t that many pieces for each jigsaw. There are some dot-to-dot puzzles to do which again are very simplistic. Finally there are some speed-colouring challenges where you’ll need to quickly colour a picture in, in order to complete the challenge. There are also a few simplistic boss challenges to complete. I suspect even younger gamers would struggle to get more than two hours out of the whole Adventure mode which is a little disappointing but I daresay most will want the game simply for it being a virtual colouring book.
So how does the game fare as a virtual colouring book then? Essentially it’s good but not great. The developers decided not to keep the colouring experience realistic. It’s not possible for a child to scribble over a picture as they would be able to in a real colouring book. Let’s say you’re colouring in a dinosaur and you pick a colour and attempt to colour him in with a scribbling motion. You would expect everything to be coloured in, stripes and all. What actually happens though is that the black outlines act as borders and when scribbling over these there is no colouring. You’ll have to take your stylus off the screen and colour inside the markings. This is a little disappointing and not as intuitive as it should be. There are times when accuracy is a problem when colouring in small details. There is also no zoom function which makes the problem a little worse.
Crayola Treasure Adventures is a decent game for youngsters but it’s not as good as it could have been. Young deaf gamers will have no problems as there is no speech in the game and all of the dialogue and instructions are text only. The Adventure mode is very short and has no replay value, which is a little disappointing. Whilst the amount of pictures and crayons in the game is pleasing, the limitations of the Colouring Book mode are unfortunate. You should have been able to colour the pictures in a more natural fashion and it’s a little baffling as to why there is no zoom function to make colouring those small areas in less bothersome. The accuracy issues are minor in all honesty but at times they can be irritating. Problems aside however, Crayola Treasure Adventures will probably please its target audience and it’s a lot less bother than having to lug about a colouring book and a large pencil case full of crayons when you head out on that long journey.