Hellokids - Vol. 1: Coloring and Painting Review
Posted by Marcel van Duyn
A decent artist's toolbox
With the free title Flipnote Studio available on DSiWare, it's kind of hard to really create anything that would be able to top it. Hellokids - Vol. 1: Coloring and Painting, however, does offer some decent options and might be fun for younger kids.
The main draw for the young ones is probably the colouring mode, in which you can choose one of over 150 different black and white drawings to colour in. They're divided up by three difficulties — more difficult, more surfaces to colour — each containing about 50 puzzles.
There's no need to worry about accidentally going over lines and messing up other parts of the drawing as is so common with games like these, as the game assists you by making it impossible to colour anything other than the surface you initially tap, until you release the touch screen. You can also freely move around and zoom in or out anywhere on the drawing to make hitting the smaller areas a bit easier. A little arrow on the left of the screen brings out a tool menu, where you can change your pencil size and colour, among other things.
If you're a bit more creative, there's a "Freehand Drawing" mode where you just get a blank canvas and are allowed to create anything you want. Any images you've created can be stored in an album for later viewing or editing.
The game also features a photo mode, where you can draw over photos stored on your DSi, including being able to stick on glasses, facial hair, and the like, and can also upload them to Facebook, just like you can with photos via the main DSi menu. It's a bit of a weird feature for a game clearly targeted at younger players, but nonetheless it is a pretty neat to have in there.
The game obviously keeps things very basic with the music and graphics. There is no music at all during drawing so you can stay concentrated, and all of the pre-made drawings you can colour in are fairly simple cartoony stuff.
It's obviously not going to beat the likes of Flipnote Studio in terms of popularity, but for smaller kids, Hellokids might be a fun little timesink. It only costs 200 DSi Points, so it's quite a sound purchase if you're in the company of more simple-minded folk you need to keep entertained. Just be wary that more Hellokids games will be released, if this one's title is any indication, so a more feature-full game may come along soon.