Review: Zhu Zhu Babies for Nintendo DS

Zhu Zhu Babies for Nintendo DS, Image: Nicole Wakelin

The latest Nintendo DS release set in the Zhu Zhu universe brings the Zhu Zhu Babies to life and makes it your mission to bring them all home. The littlest Zhu Zhus have managed to get lost and you must race from St. Louis to places like Rome, London and Cairo in order bring them back.  Each level is an increasingly difficult maze through which you need to lead your precious Zhu Zhu baby.

In the first level the maze is straightforward with gold coins to collect for points and carrots to make your baby speedy.  The mazes get more complicated, though, and you’ll find yourself fighting through wooden doors you need to destroy, looking for buttons to open gates, and teleporting from one section of the maze to another in order to get the key and exit the level. There is also sticky goo that will slow you down and balloons that you need to pop before you can continue your search.

There are over 35 levels to explore, each themed to represent the city where your Zhu Zhu Baby is lost. You’ll start in St. Louis and move on to Hollywood where the mazes are lined with palm trees and movie clap boards, followed by New York City, London and Cairo where pyramids and sphinxes decorate the path.

As you collect all ten of your ZhuZhu babies, you also have to take care of them by heading home to give them water, food, exercise and some love.  Ignore them for too long and their little red heart icons turn pink and eventually to blue. Take good care of them for an entire day and fill up the bonus bar to get an upgrade for your house. You could get a bigger water bowl, for example, so instead of your babies drinking only one at a time you can have several drinking together.

Zhu Zhu Babies is rated E for Everyone and requires only a minimal amount of reading as most of the actions are taken by clicking icons that make your Zhu Zhu babies move from place to place. My daughters, who are big Zhu Zhu fans, really enjoyed this, but its appeal will be longer lasting for younger players. Although my nine year old thought it was fun, it didn’t hold her attention like it did for my younger daughter who is seven.  They both had some mazes that posed a bit of a challenge, enough that they had to come back to it later, but none of them were frustrating to the point that they didn’t want to play anymore.

Though the premise is simple, make your way through a maze, get a key, move to the next level, it does get your child to rely on their problem solving skills. There are dead ends and multiple ways to go through the mazes, so there are times that they’ll get stuck and have to backtrack until they find a way around an obstacle.

Overall, for fans of the Zhu Zhu universe, especially younger kids, this game is fun, engaging and will provide hours of entertainment. Zhu Zhu Babies for Nintendo DS retails for $29.99 and is now available.

Note: I received a copy of this game for review purposes.

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