Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Littlest Pet Shop Spring for Nintendo DS: Ah, The Cuteness!

littlest-pet-shop-spring-nintendo-dsI've mentioned before how the Littlest Pet Shop figurines are all the rage among the fifth-grade afterschool playground crowd. My 10-year-old daughter and her friends can't get enough of the cute little bobble-headed animals - they lug entire collections to school in their backpacks and spend all their time trading and playing with them. And who can complain? As far as currency goes they're adorable and harmless, although I did hear one little bruiser say during a particularly heated trading session, "Hand over the doggie and nobody gets hurt."

Littlest Pet Shop seems to be one of those things my daughter and her friends never seem to tire of, long after the Polly Pockets and Barbies have been stashed or given away. So I knew that when we received Littlest Pet Shop Spring for Nintendo DS it was going to be a hit. In fact, I barely had time to open the package before she grabbed the game, fired it up on her DS Lite and dove right in. She didn't even need to read the instructions - she was already an expert on Littlest Pet Shop for Wii, and the DS game is very similar, featuring virtual pets from the Littlest Pet Shop line of toys that you can collect, play with and accessorize. Plus there's lots of 'mini-games' which I have no concept of but that my kids tell me is essential for a game to be worthy. (Another thing I don't get is why the DS is always charging in the outlet where everyone trips over the cord, but that's a topic for another time.)

Littlest Pet Shop Spring has an Easter theme, and features pets exclusive to this version like bunnies and kittens - certain to make your tween girl squeal and coo until every little boy in the neighborhood is running for cover. There's also a new spring-themed environment, and seasonal fashions and accessories to outfit your pet. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm thinking a kitten wearing an Easter bonnet would be the cutest thing ever. In fact, I'm betting there isn't anything in this game that isn't cute. Or as my daughter said when I asked her opinion of the game, "SO MUCH CUTENESS, mom." Summed up like a true professional.

As with Littlest Pet Shop for Wii, this version is also a big hit with my daughter and her friends because of its non-competitive nature - it's not really about winning a game as it is about taking care of your pet and exploring the different environments. As a parent I appreciate its non-aggressive nature and think these types of games encourage kids to develop their nurturing side. If only there was a 'mini-game' that gave points for cleaning the cat box...

Of course, the true success of a game is in it's longevity, and a week-and-half later my daughter hasn't removed Littlest Pet Shop Spring from her DS, so that's a good sign. Tweens are a tough bunch to please, and I've seen them cast games aside after only a day if they aren't enjoying them, stuffed into a drawer in that no-man's land beside the bad craft kits and the creepy dolls. If the menagerie of Littlest Pet Shop residing in my daughter's backpack is any indication, these toys, as well as her DS game, will be around for a long time.

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tags: | nintendo ds games reviews | |

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