Lalaloopsy: Carnival of Friends

Common Sense Media says

Colorful platformer featuring collectible doll characters.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids help others in each level by finding the items that they've lost.

Positive role models

The dolls are kind and friendly. Kids are encouraged to play with their pets.

Ease of play

Controls are intuitive and easy to learn. Kids get visual and voice-over hints about which Lalaloopsy doll to use in a given situation, so it's unlikely that they will become stuck. The tile puzzle mini-game can be skipped.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is based on the Lalaloopsy line of toy dolls, but it does not push the consumer angle too aggressively. Kids can unlock pictures and bios of 40 different dolls.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lalaloopsy: Carnival of Friends is a platformer game featuring the dolls from the Lalaloopsy toy line. The game lets kids interact with their favorite dolls without pushing the commercialism angle too strongly. Since this game is appropriate for 5-year-olds and can be played on both the Nintendo DS and the 3DS, parents need to remember to turn off the 3D aspects of the 3DS for kids under age 7 from within the devices Parental Controls. Nintendo warns that the 3D aspect could damage developing eyesight of children under age 7.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • exploration

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Carnival of Friends should appeal to young players with its fantastic gameplay, cheerful carnival setting and adorable animations. Kids are encouraged to replay stages in order to unlock snapshots and bios of additional dolls.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn puzzle solving, exploration, and cooperation. They receive plenty of positive feedback and prompts as they navigate the environment. The app does miss some learning opportunities, though.

Support

Controls are intuitive and easy to learn. Kids get visual and voice-over hints, though hard of hearing gamers will miss out on parts of the story since not all of the voice-overs are accompanied by text.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • exploration

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Kids can learn puzzle solving, exploration, and cooperation in Lalaloopsy: Carnival of Friends as they use each doll's unique skill in the right places in order to move through the environment. Hard of hearing gamers will miss out on parts of the story since not all of the narrated voice-overs are accompanied by text, which is also a missed opportunity for kids to practice reading comprehension. In spite of some missed learning opportunities, this fun puzzle platformer lets girls practice cooperation.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

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What's it about?

In LALALOOPSY: CARNIVAL OF FRIENDS kids control four of the Lalaloopsy dolls (a fifth is unlocked later) as they go around a carnival helping their friends collect needed items. Each of the dolls has a unique skill, and players must switch between them in order to reach all the items. One doll, for example, uses a pillow to bounce over small obstacles, while another can pop balloons with a pin to access new areas. In between levels, kids play tile puzzle mini-games where they must rotate tiles until the two pictures match up.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While Lalaloopsy: Carnival of Friends promotes the franchise on which it's based, it brings more to the table than that -- it offers fantastic gameplay as well. Kids take the dolls through a bright and cheerful carnival setting, which includes tight ropes, twisty slides, Ferris wheels, and roller coaster rides. Each doll has a pet in tow that can be interacted with, resulting in some truly adorable animations. As kids play, they'll unlock dozens of snapshots and bios of additional dolls, which encourages them to replay stages more than once. The strong platformer gameplay and puzzle-solving of Carnival of Friends should appeal to young players regardless of whether they're fans of the dolls.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the game would be as enjoyable if it didn't star the Lalaloopsy friends. Did you enjoy the game more because of the gameplay, or the dolls? Why do you think this game was created?

  • Families can talk about fun at the carnival. What are your favorite carnival rides, and why?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Activision
Release date:October 30, 2012
Genre:Girl
Topics:Friendship
ESRB rating:E for (No Descriptors) (Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS)

This review of Lalaloopsy: Carnival of Friends was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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