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"Noddy: A Day in Toyland" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2006 by The Game Factory. It is based on the children's series "Noddy". In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.
The gameplay of this title follows a day in the life of Noddy. It is a standard platform release with the player being required to guide Noddy through a series of different stages to accomplish different tasks. In the early "platforming" stages, Noddy will be required to gather a series of objects to assist one of his friends and are recovered very easily by simply moving from left to right and jumping on an occasional platform. There are few enemies who can be dealt with by throwing muffins in their direction which causes them to disperse from the scene. The lack of perceived difficulty was offputting for me as an adult player but this game was clearly intended for a younger audience. The remainder of the levels are focused on driving. Noddy will guide a car through side scrolling stages and must avoid debris while collecting coins. The most pleasing aspect of this game for me as the ability to honk at layaway animals as this causes them to run from the scene.
The graphics are presented from a side scrolling perspective which focuses on Noddy. There seems to be two distinct graphical implements which divide the characters and their background section. I found the characters to be large and three dimensional in shape acting against rather flat two dimensional surfaces. The animations and smooth and react appropriately to my guidance. The soundtrack is simple but does feature digital snippets of barnyard animals during the racing portion of the title.
Overall, A Day In Toyland is a game which would likely appeal to a younger fan interested in the Noddy series. It is not likely that those above the age of 10 would find enjoyment in this title.
The last thing I expected to be doing is writing a review on the Noddy game. However on New Years day I was happily playing another game on my DS when I had to go out unexpectedly. I left my mum in charge of my children and placed the DS in her hands. She regularly tells me how much she detests those things so I guessed she would put it straight back down. But she did give it a shot although had lost all my remaining lives by the time I had put my shoes on.
When I returned I was quite surprised to find her still fiddling away, and she continued to do so for a good hour. She had obviously been bitten by a bug though because it wasnt long before she picked up my sons Gameboy and attempted that. Realising the game was way beyond her and she would be better with a much simpler platform game I swapped it to Noddy.
There she remained for several hours before finally dragging herself home to bed. But she has vowed to finish Noddy off. In the kindest way of course!
I thought I had better get to grips with the game since she had asked for help a couple of times and not having played it could only guess, so this led to me playing, and now reviewing the Noddy game.
The game consists of 12 different levels. If you have ever watched the programme it appears Noddy is at the beck and call of everyone and expected to drop whatever he is doing to help, and it seems this game is no different. This game seems to follow along those lines.
The levels follow one of three patterns. The first is simply jumping up onto boxes and ledges to collect coins and other objects. The second is to jump through the woods from branch to branch, with a bit of toadstool bouncing thrown in and the last is to navigate Noddys car through a road of logs, boulders and animals whilst collecting coins and bells.
The bells represent Noddys lives and are displayed in the top left hand corner of the screen. Once these have all gone the game is over.
Fortunately at the Start screen you can select which level you would like to play so you do not have to start all over.
At the beginning of each level there is a very short story to explain what is happening and as to what Noddys next goal is. Although the game is for 3+ there will not be many who can read it at that age, however comparing it to other games aimed at pre-schoolers the wording was much simpler and clearer so any child who has grasped the basics of word building would have no problems here.
Throughout the levels you will meet all of Noddys friends such as Tessie Bear, Big Ears and Mrs Skittle. You will also come across the baddies in the forms of Goblins and that mischievous Martha Monkey. Each time Noddy comes across these he is likely to lose a life but can get round them by throwing them Muffins at Martha or bags of coins at the Goblins. These can be collected on the levels needed, and for every 50 coins collected Noddy will get another life in the form of a sparkling bell.
I managed to complete the game in around two hours but I do also happen to be a lot older than most of the players of this game.
But it certainly is easy enough for a child to not lose interest and for the game to be completed within a reasonable amount of time. The driving levels seem to be the hardest as you have to swerve from side to side whilst the screen in scrolling. But can be achieved if you can collect more bells that the amount of objects you hit.
If they do find it to hard or easy there is three levels the game can be played at, so should suit most.
~~~Music and Graphics~~~
The music starts with the well known Noddy theme tune and then changes on each level. You can turn the music off for the game (or have the sound down like me!) And there is also an option to turn the sound effects off, but children will probably enjoy the tinkling sound of collecting bells and also the tooting of Noddys car as he drives along the roads.
The graphics are very good, and very clear. If you look carefully enough it even appears that the wheels on Noddys car are turning round as he drives along. The only problem with this is that you do tend to crash as you are not concentrating on the road.
The game is just under a year old so expect to pay around £20 for it in well known high street shops. I actually bought it in November when it was reduced in GAME to £9.99.
If you are happy to shop online then you might find a better deal, and currently you can buy it from £3 on Ebay, although I would imagine these are imports.
On the English version we have you have several different languages to choose from so I do not see that any imported problem would cause a problem in any case.
Since it has a choice of languages you can always change if you fancy a bit of translating to add to the fun. In fact it was quite fun playing with my little Oui Oui, as he is translated in French.
In all I would say this is a very good starter game and most suitable for pre-schoolers. In saying that my son is 8 years old and still loves it. This could well be due to the fact that we nicknamed him Noddy in his first few months of life due to his constant red cheeks and lack of neck muscles causing him to have a Nodding head, and hence he has grown up being surrounded by all things Noddy. (The things we do to our kids!)
I would certainly recommend this game and could not see why any child would dislike it unless they have a fear of bells.
Noddy will have his day full of friends in need of his help as well as tricky situations caused by some of the mischievous residents of Toyland.