REVIEW – Smart Girl’s Playhouse Mini (DSiWare) Review

Smart or Ignorant?

Instead of being called a “game,” Smart Girl’s Playhouse Mini is more like an app that is designed for very young female DS owners.  It is unfair to rate these types of child games against modern games but this mini game compilation is so bare bones that I still would not recommend it.

There are six different activities bundled together for the $4.99 price tag: Drawing, Counting, Find the Difference, Lunch Box, Dress Up, and Coloring. This might sound like a decent amount of content for the asking price but there is nothing “smart” about them.

Using the bottom touch screen, users can choose between a dozen different colors and a dozen different stamps using the stylus like pen on paper during the Drawing mode.  The options are pretty limited as the pen and pencil tools are virtually identical and the scratching sound effect gets annoying quick.  What’s worst is there is no undo option and the user can only save one drawing at a time.  In fact, if you want to make something new, you have to erase what you created; there is simply no New option.  The top screen is also wasted as it just displays the image of a girl sitting at desk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar to Drawing is Coloring.  Here, users can fill in pre-made images with color just like any coloring book.  But just like Drawing, you can only save one at a time and the pen options are very limited.

Spot The Difference is really one of two activities that can actually be considered a “game.”  Just touch the bottom screen with the inconsistencies from the top screen.  The other “game” is Counting.  Here, a food image appears at the top and the player must select the correct quantity on the touch screen.  For some reason, eggs dance at the top of the screen next to the indicated image.  This might be confusing to younger players because it might be assumed to count these no-point-dancing-eggs instead of counting the selected imaged.

Lunch Box is probably the biggest waste of digital space that I have ever seen.  The user simply selects the style and color of a lunch box then fill it four different items: a main food, snacks, fruit, and a drink.  Once you drag everything into the lunch box icon, the user is rewarded with a gif of a girl walking on the sidewalk with her lunch box; you don’t even get to eat it!  What is even stranger, the user has the option to put a hamburger or hotdog into their lunch box.  Really?! A hamburger or hotdog is a terrible choice to put in a lunch box.  Who wants to eat room temperature spoiled meat?  Gross.

Dress Up is just as lame as it sounds.  Using the stylus, the user can select one of three different options for the on screen avatar to wear.  There is no way to win.  There is no penalty.  There is no way to lose.  Just like the Lunch Box mode, I fail to see the point and doubt even young female gamers will have fun with it.

This app is basic as basic can be and I cannot justify the $5 price point.  In fact, Swap Note, a free 3DS app, has way more bells and whistles.  The coolest feature of this title is listening to the bad remix of “This Old Man Came Rolling Home” while waiting for the Demo Mode that appears after not touching the system for a few seconds when the game is first booted up.

2/10

Not As Good As: any free app on your phone

Also Try: PictoChat

Wait For It: the next Barbie game

By: Zachary Gasiorowski

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