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Crayola Colorful Journey for the Nintendo Wii begins with twins Violet and Fillup getting ready for their birthday party. On the day of the party, however, they are sad to discover there is no cake and no presents or decorations. Instead, they find a magic coloring book. When they open the book, they travel to Crayola Land with their dog Spot. The animals in Crayola Land ask them to help restore color to their home by defeating the Gobble-ins who sneak around at night stealing colors from the area..
To play Crayola Colorful Journey for the Nintendo Wii, you must color the blank spaces within the game world and solve puzzles by drawing objects such as slides, ramps, and bridges. Each color crayon has different properties. For example, red sticks in the air so you can draw bridges while blue is a heavy color used for making ramps.
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Graphics and Sound
The graphics on this game are simple, bright, and colorful, which is just what you'd expect from a title with the "Crayola" branding. I personally found the soundtrack to be a bit annoying, but my 4 1/2 year old son really seemed to enjoy it.
One easy way the game could have been improved would be to have a voice actor read the introductory text that explains what the Fillup and Violet are trying to accomplish on their mission. I suspect most of the target audience for this game doesn't have the reading skills needed for the lengthy intro, and it's a bit tiring for Mom or Dad to have to read all the text out loud.
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This is where Crayola Colorful Journey flops. While many Nintendo Wii games have controls that are somewhat intuitive, this title gets confusing from the start. You're supposed to be able to transform the Wii remote into virtual crayons and erasers that can be used to create objects that help move Fillup, Violet, and their dog Spot through the various environments within the game. Unfortunately, remembering what combination performs what action is tricky for young gamers as well as their easily flustered parents. To further complicate matters, certain parts of the game seem to refuse to cooperate even when you're using the right combinations.
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The Final Review
With no "correct" solutions and beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, you theoretically should be able to play this title endlessly and not get bored. However, if your son is like mine and quickly frustrated, the lack of one defined answer to advancing in the game and unlocking additional features turns into a drawback. In my opinion, the controls are also much too complicated to make this game fun for preschoolers.
Since I love the concept of Crayola Colorful Journey and it seems like one of the more educational offerings for the Nintendo Wii, I hesitate to give it a bad review. But, I do think it's probably much more appropriate for children in the 6-10 year old bracket. My 4 1/2 year old son has no problem playing Leapster games, but I can't see him being able to enjoy this title for another year or two.
To make sure you're not wasting your money, rent this game to play with your kids before you make your purchase.