Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time Game Poster Image
Lots of variety in fun, unabashedly girly adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

On first glance, Nancy looks like a girl who's a little too obsessed with fancy-looking things, but when you see her in action, you see that she's also focused on helping others, learning, and using her imagination.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nancy is an imaginative, creative, fun-loving little girl who, while always admiring of "fancy" things, is also very understanding of the feelings of others and always ready to lend a hand in helping them.

Ease of Play

The game is more challenging than you may think, considering its source material, but there's really no way to lose. Even if you don't do very well on part of it, the only result will be that you earn fewer "fancies" -- jewels that help you earn prizes and bonuses from the Fancy Shop.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

Fancy Nancy is a character from a popular series of children's books.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time isn't necessarily an educational game, but that it is fun and harmless entertainment for little girls, and that it actually does contain some educational bits -- mostly vocabulary words -- that kids can pick up along the way. The game is tied to the Fancy Nancy book series, and it is assumed that players will know who all the characters are already -- however, even if you don't know Fancy Nancy very well, you can still enjoy the game. One DSi-exclusive feature allows kids to take a picture of themselves and fancy it up with bows, laces, jewels, and such. Also, be aware that while some of Fancy Nancy's fans are preschoolers, some elements of the game require more manual dexterity and logical thinking than kids that young may be able to handle.

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What's it about?

FANCY NANCY TEA PARTY TIME is a game based around the glitz-loving picture book character, Fancy Nancy. In the game, her neighbor Ms Devine, doesn't have time to prepare for a big tea party she's hosting, so Nancy and her friends offer to help out by collecting the various items she needs. There's a lot of variety in the game, including platform-jumping levels (in which Nancy can change costumes to use different "powers," like a butterfly suit that helps her float and an explorer's outfit that allows her to dig in mud), hidden-object scavenger hunts, and arcade-style puzzle games. Throughout, kids can collect "fancies" -- little gems and baubles -- that will earn them stickers to place into customizable scenes that can also be unlocked through gameplay.

Is it any good?

Lovers of the Fancy Nancy books will likely find everything they're looking for in Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time -- dressed-up little girls, pampered pooches, shiny jewels, delicate porcelain items, long important-sounding words, and a whole lot of pink. The adorable-yet-resourceful Nancy comes across very well as a video game character, and the look and feel of her books are accurately represented. There's a surprising amount of variety here, especially when you consider the arcade of mini-games that can unlocked. The reward system is a very nice one for younger players, as the amount of "fancies" you have never decreases. Once you have enough "fancies" to earn a prize, you can just take that prize -- you don't need to spend your fancies on it and then head back to the game to start earning from scratch for your next prize.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Nancy's obsession with "fancy things." Does that part of her personality define who she is? What else does she do in the game that shows more about her true character?

  • If you have a DSi, you can use the camera to take a picture of yourself and "make yourself fancy." Is this something that appeals to you? Why or why not?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: THQ
  • Release date: September 14, 2010
  • Genre: Girl
  • ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)

For kids who love girl oriented games

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