I’m always a little suspicious of TV tie-in videogame series. When these focus on children’s TV, history seems to be even more littered with missteps and failures.
However, after being roundly impressed with the Dora and Diego games I’ve been on the lookout for other titles for the very young gamers in my family. I wasn’t expecting Peppa Pig to tick this box, but after a good try out with my boys (3 and 5) it got a thumbs up.
Now, although these games are not released in the US as of yet, they could well be worth importing if you can find them at a good price. There have been a few games in the series both on the Wii and the DS. I looked at the first DS game a little while ago:
Peppa Pig has been popular with each of our children (3, 5 and 7) and is still the go to DVD for our youngest – with the older ones happy to watch them too. If you’ve not seen the show, it follows a family of snorting pigs through everyday scenarios. It’s jovial and jolly and actually really well animated.
The last couple of years have seen a range of videogames to complement the series, Peppa Pig: The Game and Peppa Pig: Fun and Games on both the DS and the Wii. They both offer a range of Peppa branded minigames aimed at younger players — nothing particularly revolutionary about that, I know. However, as soon as we played the games it was clear this is something a little different to other TV videogame tie-ins.
Rather than a simplified version of a grown-up game, these feel like they have been designed just for kids – and very young kids at that. They don’t have a score or time limit and progress is simply mapped by John Sparkes’ excellent narration.
Most recently the series has been updated with Peppa Pig Theme Park Fun, again on the DS and Wii. This is where I think the best of the Peppa Pig DS fun can be found. Here’s what a young gamer friend thought of it:
There are a lot of games aimed at younger players that are just grown-up games with different graphics and made easier. But Peppa Pig is quite different to those.
The game looks a lot like the TV program that I watch with my little brother. Now I’m a bit old for it – I still like it though. But it’s the way the different games move around that is the best bit.
Each minigame has different controls and a series of things you have to do. The bits of the game that you have to move around with the DS pen, and put in the right place, all feel like they are really there.
When you touch the screen they move to exactly where you put them rather than just clicking into place. It makes the games much more fun. Also the games are a bit more complicated because you can solve them in different ways.
When you touch the screen they move to exactly where you put them.
My little brother often just moves things all over the place to try and finish a challenge. This works sometimes, but when I show him what you actually have to do he gets on a lot better.
Peppa Pig Theme Park Fun is quite like the other Peppa Pig games on the DS, but this time there is more of a story to work through as well. You don’t have all the different activities there at the beginning. You have to unlock them one at a time. This was fun until our save file was deleted by mistake. I had to play through the games again to catch back up to where we should have been.
There are a few games in the story that have become our favorites. I like the tool search car fixing game, and my brother likes making sandwiches – although he always just puts absolutely all the ingredients in every one. I don’t think I would eat them, but the game doesn’t seem to mind, apart from say “that’s an unusual sandwich, oink!”
My younger brother (he’s four) seems like the perfect age for the game as well.
We haven’t unlocked them all yet, but the box says there are 18 different games to play. I guess we are over half way then. I’m looking forward to unlocking the bumper car game at the fairground – there’s a picture of it on the back of the pack so I know it is coming up soon.
Being a bit old for Peppa Pig now I didn’t think I’d enjoy the game, but actually it is quite fun. My younger brother is really into the TV show (he’s four) and seems like the perfect age for the game as well.
Peppa Pig games can be imported via Amazon, although a little patience is required for the right price.