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If you know My First Songs or its sequel on the 3DS, then Mes Comptines (French for “My Rhymes" or “My Nursery Rhymes") will be very familiar territory, even with a language shift. This is the same simplistic rhythm game for small children as its predecessors, and that's really not such a bad thing.

Mes Comptines comes in at 17 songs, which is 2 or 3 more than either of the two prior games, but several here are translations of numbers from the old repertoires. Gameplay involves tapping the bottom screen in time to a parade of dots and lines, with one type of line asking you to hold the stylus down during its duration and the other requiring you to move the stylus in a circle. That's really all there is to it. It's so easy to pick up that, even though an English manual is available for those who need it, odds are you can figure out all you need to know without it.

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The tracks of dots and lines seem pretty spot on with the songs for the most part, with each song having three “difficulties." Although there are times when the rhythm does feel a little off, this doesn't really seem to hurt things much. The game has a forgiving area of accepting the user's input and the song is never going to prematurely end due to a poor performance.

The rhymes themselves are rather pleasantly performed, with light melodies and singers who sound youthful without diving into the range of annoyance. In other words, parents likely won't go insane too quickly if they consistently hear these songs. The lyrics to each piece display on the bottom screen during every performance and can be found in the manual, if any kids are interested in reading them.

A computer-animated video plays for each song on the upper screen, putting the 3D to some use - if the young gamer in question is old enough to use the effect, of course! All of them are bright and colourful, mostly focused on the same boy, girl and animal friends from the original English games (who knew the barnyard could be so bilingual?). The animations could use some more variety and depth, as 90% of the time everyone has the ^_^ expression on their faces, but the presentation here doesn't seem much worse than a lot of what passes on children's television today.

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Paying full attention to the videos during the game is a problem when the actual gameplay only exists on the bottom screen, but the “music videos" can be accessed for viewing independently at any time. It still would be nice to see some more interactivity between the gameplay and the animation, however, such as parts of the song when something could be tapped to affect the action above-screen.


Mes Comptines isn't going to hold a candle up to many other entries in terms of being a rhythm game, but shines reasonably well as a product of entertainment for young children. It's easy to pick up, shies away from frustrating the little ones playing it, and is considerate enough to not immediately drive parents up the wall. A child can just happily sit and watch the videos if they wish, or engage in the “game" itself to provide some enrichment toward music and rhythm appreciation. The overall audience for Mes Comptines may be small, but developer Ringzero Game Studio has given them decent consideration.