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'Crayola Treasure Adventures' Review (DS)

Submitted by thankeeka on December 12, 2007 - 1:41pm. Exclusive Game Review

True story. My nephew, in kindergarten, came down one day with his schoolwork, which had him needing to color several pictures. While I watched on, I sat there and found myself thinking, “Man, I wish I could color again.” If coloring was so fun and soothing when we were young, why do we quit doing it when we get older? Crayola Treasure Adventures is a game for kids and the kid at heart in all of us, though truthfully only one of the two will find themselves enjoying the game.

In the story mode of the game, which makes up the bulk of the gameplay, you play as a red crayon who is out hunting for the missing color crystals that were stolen. As you traverse the landscape you’ll piece together puzzles, quick color objects, and connect the dots to create items…that’s it. The puzzles are usually 3x3 puzzles, where every piece is presented in a way where you just need to move them to their place, so it’s easy to just place the corners, the straight edged, and then the ones you need to finish up. The connect the dots challenges are really easy to do too, as you don’t so much draw lines as touch the dots and watch as the game auto fills in the dots. It’s also easy to figure out which objects need to have their dots filled out in a level, as they are circles or various shapes of a swirling rainbow color. Meanwhile, when it comes to the levels where you have to quickly color an object, you really only have to tap inside the highlighted part of the picture and quickly slide the stylus back and forth to color the picture in enough for the game to be satisfied and let you move on. Given that these are the only levels you’ll experience and there aren’t many worlds either, you’ll quickly finish the story in only a few hours.

The game could’ve had a real draw when it comes to the next part – the coloring. As you complete the levels in the story mode, you’ll unlock different pictures for you to color, and 120 real Crayola colors for you to use with your pictures. The pictures you can color range from farm animals to dinosaurs to machines and several others. When you decide to color a picture, you’ll be given your pictures, options to have a bold or narrow tip, and then a pallet of a few colors (though you can use an arrow to visit your virtual crayon box to pick other colors you’ve unlocked). The coloring portion has several nagging problems, namely being it doesn’t offer an exact replica of the coloring experience, as the pictures are too small, and the coloring is to precise to give you that natural flare that comes from your own personal coloring techniques.

Do you remember how you were always told to color in the lines? Well, that same fundamental system is in play with Crayola Treasure Adventures, because as soon as you touch into a closed off spot of a picture – such as the spot of a leopard – it doesn’t matter how far away you move from the picture, you’ll only be allowed to color inside that circle. In order to color outside that leopard spot, you need to pick your stylus off the DS, move it to another section, place it down, and then color again. You also can’t really merge colors by coloring one over the other so that they blend into one, and can instead only color over one color with another. If the game contained a zoom function of sorts to make the picture larger, and made the game seem more like a virtual coloring book, then it could’ve been pretty good, but there just isn’t enough substance to move this beyond a game only preschoolers or younger kids would enjoy. The game isn’t perfect in the controls either, because though my two-year old nephew had the idea to put stylus to screen, sometimes no color was ever placed on the page. Still, it is worth nothing he was smiling and genuinely seemed to be having a good time.

If you are of an age that contains two digits, then Crayola Treasure Adventures will appeal to you very little if none at all. However, if you have a young one in your life, you could have a good time playing with them. Then again, you could buy a box of Crayola crayons and a big coloring book, and we think you’d have an overall better time probably. But for what Crayola Treasure Adventures is it isn't a bad little game.

Our Scoring System

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A good review of a game that

A good review of a game that hasn't had much coverage. I'm quite familiar with the game, and have a few clarifications/corrections:

Tip (the red crayon guy) is the player's guide through the game; you don't actually play as Tip (thank goodness), you just get to be yourself.

Only the first world has 3x3 puzzles, the other two worlds are 4x3.

In the coloring book, besides the choice of small or large "brush" (crayon tip size) you can also choose between marker and crayon mode. In marker mode, one color does completely draw over another as you noted. But when in crayon mode, a reasonably realistic crayon-like pattern is used, so when you color over another color, the old still shows through. You need to make repeated passes over to eventually completely cover the old color.

I'm not sure what can be done about the small screen size for the pictures. Zooming in wouldn't be much of a solution since the finer detail would be lost when you zoomed back out again to take a look at the picture.

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