Review: Tales to Enjoy! Little Red Riding Hood (DSiWare)

You should probably stay out of the woods.

Tales to Enjoy! Little Red Riding Hood is a collection of activities and games designed to be accessible to young children, ages 3-6 year old. With eight modes in all – which consist of puzzles, games of memory, a digital colouring book, and of course a re-telling of the classic fairy tale – there’s quite a healthy amount of content packed into this budget purchase. It’s just too bad niggling performance issues and questionable design choices complicate the experience.

Upon booting the game, you’re thrown into a menu with no text to denote what activity each icon represents. If you wait patiently the names will slowly be announced one by one, but it’s confusing as to why text wouldn’t be provided in addition to the spoken word. Even if a child is too young to read, the combination of hearing the words out-loud and associating them with the text on screen is an important part of learning. Minor oversights such as this accumulate and challenge the content's worth.

For the storybook mode, text is presented on the top screen with still-frame images on the bottom, accompanied by a voice-over that reads the story out loud to the user. This is performed by a female reader who gives a serviceable, if passé, performance. What is a bit puzzling, though, is that not every word presented in text is read, again making it confusing for any children trying to learn which words are which. Top that off with awkward load times between pages, artwork that’s a bit rough, and limited animations that offer little more than twitching characters and objects, and it’s questionable as to whether or not this would be more exciting than a traditional storybook.

Lack of direction can cause a barrier when jumping into the other activities, too. For example, when entering Find the Intruder, the only instruction is a single voice-command that announces the name of the game; there is no text, nor is there a further vocal explanation. The goal is to select the picture of a character on the bottom screen that isn’t present in the image above. Sure, it’s all very simple stuff, but a young child who’s completely unfamiliar with software of this nature may find themselves confused and just tapping away aimlessly without a thorough walkthrough from their parents.

Some other modes work decently – we found the colouring book and Find The Pair to be pretty inviting – but it’s never better than average even when it’s at its best.

Conclusion

We hate to complain too much about a game with such an affordable price, which has the intention of wholesomely entertaining and educating young children, but there are so many other far better options on the market at comparable prices. Tales to Enjoy! Little Red Riding Hood is innocent software, and it’s not exactly broken, but it ultimately isn't of a high enough quality to merit a purchase.