Review: Tales to Enjoy! Puss In Boots (DSiWare)

Give it the boot

Tales to Enjoy! Puss in Boots is a compilation of activities and games geared towards the youngest audience, ages 3-6 years old. If you’ve taken notice of our review for Tales to Enjoy! Little Red Riding Hood, then you should know exactly what to expect here – exactly. The activities and interface are identical, but the fairytale and corresponding artwork has been swapped with another. Unfortunately that means all of the problems that were present in the other instalment still exist here.

Story mode stumbles through its motions in the same manner; the voice-over still doesn’t read every word presented on screen, the artwork is unattractive, and the limited animations hardly make for an interactive story. In fact we tapped all over the images, but nothing seemed to react to stimulation. Even a simple task like advancing between pages and sentences appears overly taxing on the software, and the delivery is dreadfully choppy because of this.

Tell Your Own Story mode allows the user to flip through the same pages of the storybook, but without, err, the story. Here, characters and objects in the scenes can be touched with the stylus and their names will be announced out loud. This could make for a fantastic exercise in imagination, but we believe the level of interest will vary from kid to kid. If your child prefers something with more of a goal, there are other activities with a purpose; like a simple nine piece puzzle made of squares, a match-two card game, and even finding the differences between to nearly identical pictures.

The biggest issue is that all of these eight modes, even when functioning decently, feel carelessly put-together. There isn’t anything here that feels like it was developed all that thoroughly; instead, it seems as if there was a checklist of activities, with the minimum effort needed put into each. As with Little Red Riding Hood, the loss of direction or instructions is also a major concern, so if you do decide to take a chance on the Tales to Enjoy series, expect to walk the younger ones through the activities the first time around. We aren’t saying they won’t be capable of figuring it out for themselves, but if they don’t grasp what is expected of them quickly, we fear interest will fail to be captured.

Conclusion

Lack of proper instructions, sluggish presentation, and various oversights make Tales to Enjoy! Puss in Boots a mundane experience that really feels like it's short on the care needed to educate and entertain young children. We can’t argue with anyone who doesn’t mind taking a risk on software that’s priced so reasonably, but due to the overall absence of quality, you're better off simply booting this one from your memory.