Crayola Treasure Adventures DS Review

Can the crayon manufacturer Crayola bring a colourful experience to the Nintendo DS? This is a game aimed squarely at younger players and is split into two main activities.

The Adventure mode tells a simple story of the Colour Crystals being stolen from the world and colours starting to fade. With the help of a friendly red crayon, the player must track down the three robbers who have stolen the Crystals. The first location is the Jungle, and as the adventure progresses the red crayon and the creatures he meets narrate the story on the top screen. On the bottom screen the map shows the journey, with bubbles showing each task.

Tasks are split into three basic forms. Small Jigsaw Puzzles have to be reassembled to show where to go next. This is simply a case of touching and dragging the pieces into place. Dot-to-Dot challenges show a location with several objects that are losing their colour (displayed as a rainbow effect). Tapping the object brings up the sequence of dots which the player must tap in the right number order, drawing the object to restore its colour. Finally, there are Speed Colouring rounds. Colour is draining from a scene and the player must fill the flashing section as quickly as possible.

When the player does catch up with one of the robbers, they must first do a speed colouring challenge, and then colour in a picture of the robber. Doing so unlocks the next section – the second area is the Desert and the third and final one is set under the Ocean. Completing each task unlocks extra coloured crayons and pages for the other main activity – the Colouring Book.

The Colouring Book interface has quite a few controls. You can change the size of the crayon tip, select an eraser to remove mistakes and open the crayon box to change colours (of which there are up to 120 to be unlocked in the Adventure mode). There are six different categories of picture – Farm, Vehicles, Dinosaurs, Ocean, Zoo and Adventure (which are pictures based on locations in the Adventure mode).

The controls are great, with the colouring particularly smooth and automatically “staying within the lines”. The mechanics of the other tasks are equally good – the puzzles are easy to do, but could have a lot more pieces, and the dot-to-dot puzzles look nice with their line drawings emerging from the dots. Music is pleasant and the characters you meet are well-drawn. The whole thing is very colourful, as befitting a game based around crayons.

The main concern with this game is the value for money. The Adventure is surprisingly short, taking me little more than half an hour to complete. The Colouring Book is likely to hold attention for longer once pages are unlocked, but even then you have to wonder if this will really be a long-term prospect. All in all, parents may be better off with a traditional colouring book and crayons – but for the younger player who does get this, there is some fun to be had.

5/10 (for anyone over 8)