A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
Preschoolers can play with Little Pony figures using their computers -- or without them -- with the MY LITTLE PONY PC PLAY PACK. The pack includes an exclusive play figure called Sparkleberry Swirl, and the accompanying software provides a virtual playground where youngsters help prepare a celebration for her.
The Little Ponies' virtual world is brightly colored and predominantly pink. All of the Little Pony characters talk to kids and solicit help with the party preparations. Before Sparkleberry Swirl's party can start, kids need to finish seven tasks that include designing and sending invitations, baking and decorating a cake, dressing up a pony, choreographing a dance for a pony, and helping three other ponies with projects.
Is it any good?
Gameplay offered in this software is very simple and supportive. While the narrator is often a bit over the top with her use of endearments such as "darling," young children will find the play environment helps them to build confidence using a computer.
However, the software takes this simplicity too far. The seven tasks don't present enough of a challenge because all kids do is point and click to scroll through choices. For example, with the baking the cake task, kids simply click on items in a cupboard to add them to the batter instead of having to count or discriminate between items. And when players need to find items for the ponies, the items simply appear in front of them instead of asking youngsters to use visual discrimination to pick out the correct ones.
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