Magical Zhu Zhu Princess: Carriages & Castles

 
(i)

 

Adorable toy-based game is well-designed for young players.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main message is one of responsibility and caring. Kids tend to the needs of their hamsters during one mode, and use them to help find lost babies in another.

Positive role models

The Zhu Zhus themselves are cute, friendly, and helpful. Plus the game encourages you, the player, to be a kind and attentive caregiver.

Ease of play

The controls really couldn't be easier -- kids simply drag objects to and from the hamsters during "care" mode and point where they want the hamsters to go during "adventure" mode. Navigating the adventure mode mazes and finding hidden items may pose a bit of a challenge for younger kids, but nothing too difficult.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is based on the popular Zhu Zhu Pets toy line and features characters from the line.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Magical Zhu Zhu Princess: Carriages & Castles may be a game featuring licensed characters from a toy line, but that it is an incredibly sweet and good-natured game with no overtly heavy marketing during its gameplay. The controls are easy enough for even very young kids to handle, and all instructions are spoken aloud, so reading isn't even required. Outside of the scenery, there's nothing particularly "princessy" about the game.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

There's not much of a plot to MAGICAL ZHU ZHU PRINCESS: CARRIAGES & CASTLES, though the opening sequence tells a quick story about how a bunch of pet hamsters traveled to a magical fairytale world. The game has two main parts. The first has kids caring for an increasingly large family of hamsters -- feeding them, playing with them, bathing them, putting them to bed, etc. (It's all very easily accomplished with click-and-drag controls). The second part asks players to race the hamsters around through mazes, picking up coins, gems, and hearts as they search for the exit. Most of the mazes will also have a hidden item to find -- an outfit, a lost baby hamster, or a care item (such as a water bowl). This part offers the most challenge by far, but is certainly still easy enough for young kids to handle.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Magical Zhu Zhu Princess: Carriages & Castles takes what kids love about the Zhu Zhu toys -- caring for them like real animals and then racing them through tube mazes -- and translates it perfectly to a video game. The formula may not be varied much from previous Zhu Zhu games, but the controls feel smoother and more refined here -- certainly easy enough for kindergartners to handle. The only complaint one might have about the game is that it's not very "princessy" as implied by the title of the game. But really, it's so adorable and sweet-hearted -- and so well-constructed as a game for younger kids -- that nitpicking in such a way doesn't feel right. Zhu Zhu fans will love this game -- and they should.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it's like to care for a real pet. How is it different from pet care in the game? Do you think the game could help you prepare to care for a real animal?

  • Which part of the game is more interesting to you: The caregiving or the adventure? Do you think both aspects can appeal equally to girls and boys?

  • What is it about virtual pet games that make them so popular? How about in this game? What did you like about caring for the hamsters?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Activision
Release date:February 8, 2011
Genre:Girl
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies
ESRB rating:E for (No Descriptors) (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of Magical Zhu Zhu Princess: Carriages & Castles 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.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 9 years old April 12, 2011
 

is so but so bad this game

is not for anyone
Kid, 8 years old February 26, 2011
 
i tink a kid says ok

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass