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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Helping out friends and beautifying your hometown are the two main goals of the game. Somewhat strangely, "helping" your neighbors, in most cases, means playing a game with them, but that's a minor point.
Positive Role Models
The furry residents of Hugsville are ceaselessly polite, friendly, and helpful. There is no negativity to be found in this town.
Ease of Play
The only possible difficulty comes in the itty-bitty size of the onscreen characters during some of the minigame activities. Other than that, the game is simple to learn and easy to control. The difficulty level for younger players is set just right.
Products & Purchases
Unlike some previous Build-a-Bear games, the brand, its logo, and its stores are not integral parts of the gameplay. However, players are "rewarded" for certain in-game actions with codes they can use on the Buildabearville.com website. And the game card itself comes packed with a $5 coupon that can be redeemed at brick-and-mortat Build-a-Bear stores.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, while Build-a-Bear: Welcome to Hugsville focuses on fun gameplay rather than commercialism, the game is inherently tied to the Build-a-Bear franchise and does draw children to the Buildabearville.com website by awarding secret codes that are only usable on that site. Outside of the codes and coupons, though, the game would be equally enjoyable to both Build-a-Bear fans and kids who are not familiar with the plush toy line.
Is It Any Good?
Build-a-Bear: Welcome to Hugsville presents itself as a story, and has some role-playing elements, but is essentially a collection of mini-games. The mini-games themselves are fun ones, many covering classic playground activities like tag. The play control is fine on most of the mini-games, though the small size of the DS screen is a detriment to a few of them, in which wee little character icons may make you squint a bit. The way the game is set up requires you to play through several levels of the same few mini-games before you even have the opportunity to open up new areas and earn new mini-games; the forced repetition may also be a source of frustration for some players. On the positive side, though, the ability to build and customize your own home and vehicles is a very nice touch, as is the chance to build up and personalize the flora of your virtual land. The online codes that can draw players onto the Buildabearville.com website don't affect gameplay, but are sure to be a cause of concern for some parents.
Online interaction: While the game itself is not online enabled, players can "win" codes that are redeemable on the Buildabearville.com website, which could encourage young kids to want to go online.
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Our Editors Recommend
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