REVIEW – Little Shopping (Switch)

About As Real As A Three Dollar Bill

Little Shopping is the next toddler Switch eShop downloadable title from Ultimate Games S.A. Guess The Word could teach youngster the basics of reading while Pet Care provides a relaxed edutainment experience.  Little Shopping’s goal is the teach toddlers how to count using the numbers one, two, and five.

Out of these three titles, I have the most issues with Little Shopping. Granted, of course, I am not the target audience for this digital download but that doesn’t mean I cannot acknowledge flaws and inconsistencies.  From a 2D street view, the player is free to select one of four stores: a 24-hour grocery store, a toy store, clothes store, and pet store. When inside, the player then has to place three randomly designated items into the shopping cart at the bottom of the screen either by using the touch screen or a face button if using a controller. Once the three specific pieces have been collected, the player now has to pay for them using change.  Although the final prices varies each time, most totals wind up being around $0.07-$0.12.  Then, the player needs to tap the 1 cent, 2 cents, or 5 cents icons to pay the final bill with exact change. This is the same for any of the four stores.

The prices are so low there is no way stores can stay open

There are some issues with this. First, the totals are highly unrealistic and could actually confuse babies as they get older.  Nothing costs ten cents, not even close, let alone three items. Buying a gallon of milk, some cheese, and some produce could be around $5-$10, unless each store is having a 99% off sale. Second, the very first thing the player experiences when booting up the game is an extremely harsh grinding noise.  This noise coming from my Switch was so bad I thought something was wrong with my system and was about to blow up.  In fact, it is just a terrible sound effect of a car driving past the screen (the sound effect doesn’t even last the duration of the car’s travel either).  Next, the cashier, like the creepy dude in Guess The Word, is also annoying and would have been better if she wasn’t there at all.  During each transaction, she literally says “blah blah blah” when ringing up your order. And if the player gets the transaction wrong, she gives off a grunting “nuh-un” sound. This is just so weird and unnatural.  They could have made this cashier say anything else but they went super irritating grunts. Finally, there is no such thing as a two-cent piece in real life. Why couldn’t they make it pennies, nickels, and dimes like in real life?

That’s not all as the environment, the main gameplay screen, isn’t even finished.  Using the right analog stick, the player can secretly pan the camera left and right. If moved all the way to each side, the player can see that the street ends into nothingness. Also, for a game as simple as this, there is no excuse to have such frequent loading screens.  Making matters worse, each loading screen features a Christmas elf for some reason.  There is zero reason why Santa’s elf should be in the loading screen for Little Shopping.  It makes no sense whatsoever. Like, imagine you are playing the latest Madden football game and all of a sudden a huge whale crapping watermelons storms the field every third down. I mean, WTF?  Really?!  Also there is one music track that constantly loops and the sound effects are composed of the lowest quality.

The “great job” receipt the player gets after each transaction is the only incentive to keep playing. At least the player can pay with any combination of coins.  But this also means the one cent piece can be spammed until the final total is reached. So in a way, this game could teach your child to cheat. Even though this is a $1.49 download design for babies, I can’t help be feel this is a flawed experience and stands as the weakest link of the trio of Ultimate Games S.A. inexpensive toddler titles.

SCORE: 3/10

Not As Good As: starting your toddler’s saving account as soon as they are born
Better Than: using real coins for fear of choking
Also Try: flash cards

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz

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