Not content with its current offerings on Wii U, Ringzero Game Studio decided that, despite system limitations, a 3DS outing of the My First Songs franchise should be made. To the developer's credit it holds up well despite the 3DS’ lower power, but it’s not quite the same game as it is on Wii U.
For starters, the karaoke premise is all but removed, replaced with more of a focus on rhythm than singing. Obviously you can still sing along, but there’s no feedback for doing so; you’re tasked from the beginning with tapping on a single circle on the lower screen with the stylus in time to the rhythm. It’s not consistent, though, and sometimes despite a song simply repeating itself it will present a different set of tapping instructions, which aren't always spot-on with the beat. This oversight brings up one of the biggest issues with the game.
The cutesy animations that are the hallmark of the series are still present here, with some subtle and inoffensive 3D effects. The only problem is that you won’t be looking at the top screen very much as all the gameplay takes place on the bottom screen, which is noticeably barren in comparison. It’s a shame that all the effort that went into the child-friendly visuals is lost because of this, and if the upcoming ‘taps’ were to appear on the top screen as a watermarked effect, it would allow the player of focus on the top screen without missing any of the ‘action’.
The actual gameplay consists of tapping, tapping and holding, and peculiar tapping and circling with the stylus. It’s all designed to mix up the gameplay, but considering that this is a game for children it would probably have been better to keep things simple. Not that there are any real repercussions for playing poorly, the game will always tell you that you’re fantastic and special and unique.
The variety of songs available is fairly good, but they're all essentially nursery rhymes, and that’s pretty much all there is to this game. At the end of the day it’s an incredibly simplistic rhythm game for children, but to that end it serves itself well. It may not be especially gripping or unique, but this reviewer is probably a little bit too old for it to have any real appeal.
Considering how important a sense of rhythm and pacing is for growing children, this is actually a surprisingly well disguised educational game. It is, however, only really going to be suitable for children younger than about seven, as the visuals, songs and simplicity of gameplay become fairly redundant for anyone older.
My First Songs on the 3DS is a game that is suitable for a very small audience, but it suits that audience very well indeed. The rhythmic tapping that it requires can be very beneficial for brain growth in young children, but it’s a shame that they’ll miss out on the colourful animations on the top screen when playing. It’s niche, but it works for those it's targeting, so only pick this up if you’re buying it for a small child, provided they’re old enough to use a 3DS.