Nanda's Island

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Nanda's Island Game Poster Image
Cute but tough puzzle game with a nature theme.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

There's a mild message about caring for nature and revitalizing parched environments.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nanda doesn't have much character, but he's a panda who wants to bring flowers back to his island, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Ease of Play

The game is pretty difficult. After four tutorial levels, in which the game shows you exactly where to draw lines, you're tossed almost immediately into some very challenging puzzles. Adding to that difficulty is that you can't see the whole level at once and need to scroll around, while raindrops (that you're supposed to be catching) are on the way down.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nanda's Island is a challenging puzzle game in which players help a panda water flower seeds by drawing lines that will direct falling raindrops to the seedbeds. The story and imagery are cute and harmless, and there's a subtle message about caring for the environment, but the controls can be a bit tricky, especially for younger kids. Plus, the challenge level is pretty high right off the bat.

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What's it about?

The title character of NANDA'S ISLAND is a panda whose homeland is now barren. He uses a rain dance to call up little clouds, but they're never directly over the seeds he plants, so you need to draw lines that will direct the raindrops down to the seeds and help the flowers grow. As puzzles get more challenging, obstacles are added, forcing players to do things like make drops ricochet over tall structures. You have a very limited amount of \"ink\" in your pen, so on most levels, you'll need to keep erasing and drawing afresh, even while the drop are coming down. Each successful level will earn you coins that you can use to buy props that you can place around your newly green island.

Is it any good?

Nanda's Island has a fun concept, but slightly flawed execution. The puzzles are very challenging (maybe too challenging at the beginning) but should prove entertaining for lovers of brain games. It would have been better if the line-drawing mechanic was a little more precise and if you didn't have to scroll around so much to see the entire play area, but on the whole the game works pretty well. Being able to customize your island as a reward for winning levels is a nice touch, too. Overall, Nanda's Island is a decent but unspectacular puzzle game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the real-life versions of events in the game. Why do flowers need rain? How do seeds grow into flowers? Where does rain come from?

  • Families can also talk about why playing puzzle games are both fun and make you think.

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: MumboJumbo
  • Release date: February 22, 2011
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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