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This is the very first Nintendo game I have ever purchased for my daughter who is 5. I bought it primarily having read a review of "I did it Mum" the first version of the game, and also as it was available from Amazon for £9.99, which struck me as good value.
I have been a bit loathe to go down the child + nintendo track, due to having heard from a few friends with slightly older children that it can be a double edged sword. The console we have is "daddy's" but I thought I would let my daughter give this game a go to see if she enjoyed it. She is averagely computer literate for her age but pretty useless at other platforms compared to her peers, so I had been looking for something simple and fun for occassional use. This game has proved to be a big success for her needs.
What does the game involve?
Like the previous game there are a number of different activites for children to access via the touch screen. These are low on need to read, and are accessed via the menu screen which is a picture of a house. There is a painting and colouring activity which are very intuitive, the touch pen being used to add colours and then draw or paint. A nice touch is that the picture you have "coloured" is animated at the end - so a door opens or fountain sprays water.
The other 16 activities are quite varied, from the musical (bells and xylophone) to spot the difference, dot to dots and grow a flower by planting and watering a seed with your virtual watering can. The games range for the completely unchallenging such as shadow matching to the more difficult such as cooking where good fine motor skills are needed to cut up a carrot with your virtual knife or do dot-to-dot.. My daughter particularly enjoys the colouring and also "doll's house" where you can choose the decor and furniture for a mini house. There is one game that has flopped which is "rock paper scissors" which just hasn't grabbed my daughter as interesting but might appeal to an older child. There is a hoop-la which is is also quite hard to play but the rest of the games seem to be enjoyed by my 5 year old.
Music and graphics:
The graphics are very child friendly, and not too over-girlie in my opinion, though this game is meant to be girl-firendly it is not too pinktastic, which is refreshing. The music is a little annoying for a parent. Everything is played to classical music, tunes which I recognise but can't put a name to, to my shame. There is no mention of what the music is in the manual either, I couldn't work out if they had used tinny classical music in order to appear "educational" or as they didn't have to pay rights to it, in any case it doesn't add to the game really and also seems rather out of balance with the rare "you did it" actual voice sounds, my daughter seeems happy to play with the music right down thankfully.
I am pleased with the playability of the game, for my daughter it is spot on challenge wise, and she can indeed do it without asking for help every 2 minutes. The games seem to be enjoyable and they have done a good job making the game appeal to a child.
What could be improved?
The child has a "friend" to play with throughout the game, for no good reason I can think of, also it would be nice if you could print off your creations, I don't know enough about the DS platform to know if this is technically possible but it is a little frustrating to a child used to some degree to being able to click and print.
You can't actually save any game either, which is fine in a not-too challenging kind of way, but doesn't allow for any kind of progress.
I would say that this game is good for a bit of fun for a child. My child can manage to play well at age 5 and her rising 3 sister can give it a good go too, so I would imagine 3-6 would be a realistic age range.
We haven't got the first game so I am not sure if it compares as in more of the same or very different, as mentioned I bought this one as it was cheaper than the original at the time.
I don't think in truth that this game has any educational value at all bar pen control, but then I don't think it really has that aim anyway. It has been a good first game to buy and my daughter has enjoyed it without being too addicted so I would imagine it will be quite useful to fill a 10 mins in the doctor's waiting room or for some downtime for a while to come. A good first Nintendo game!
I Did it Mum! 2 comes in two different versions: Boy and Girl. Alongside 13 fresh mini-games, each version includes five exclusive games that will specifically appeal to either gender. So, girls will be counting flowers, while boys get to grips with speeding motor cars. Both versions will help pre-school children to develop vital skills, including counting and reading, thanks to fun bursts of gameplay featuring charming characters and colourful graphics.