System: Nintendo DS (image copied from gamefaq.com)
Reading : Some that effects game play. A lot of the 'hints' that are given by the characters are in cartoon word bubbles at the top of the screen. If you have an observant gamer2.0, they might realize that the hint they were just given is now a sparkling present on the map.
Explanation time: 15 minutes +. Gamer2.0 had a hard time figuring out how to use the directional pad for movement instead of the stylus. The map on the upper screen vs. the character moving on the lower screen was also a source of frustration and needed to be explained multiple times.
Educational: Hand-eye coordination and reading (if you play the game with your child and help them read the conversations). There are mini-games to complete in order to find Pinkie-Pie's presents. These games also involve matching, colors, shapes, etc.
Game Play: I got through the game in 45 minutes. You start by walking the paths that are shaped like a sideways “H” and talking to the pony friends. On the way you'll find some obvious puzzle pieces (these are part of a mini-game) and a couple of the presents. Gamer2.0 did okay with this but had problems maneuvering between the top and bottom paths on the map on the top screen and relating it to the pony walking on the bottom screen. Once all of the obvious items were found Gamer2.0 lost interest in the game. Once you have talked to all of the pony friends you have to go back and talk to each of them all over again in a specific order that is determined by what the pony friends tell you. They do try to help you by showing a shiny present on top of the house you need to visit in the upper screen map...however, since Gamer2.0 had a hard time figuring out where she was, the little presents were of little help. When she did get to a house with a present she was frustrated that she then had to talk to the pony AGAIN and then complete a mini-game to receive the present. The mini-games were a mix of hard and really easy matching, music games and a harder “blow in the microphone” game. Once you have gotten all of the presents you can go back to where the birthday party will be and open all of them. Each little gift is interactive. These are things that Gamer2.0 did like because there was no pressure to do it correctly and each present being opened was instant gratification. Putting the puzzle together was also a hit.
Gamer2.0 rating:(insert singing My Little Pony theme song here)