A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while the lead character, Strawberry Shortcake, will appeal more to girls than boys, both genders will find this puzzle game fun to explore. There is no violence, but some may not like that this world is created with unhealthy sweets. However, those sweets provide an engaging backdrop for the logic puzzles. Most of the puzzles are right on target for ages 4 to 7, but one is too much of a reach because it requires that kids know how to add and subtract.
What's it about?
The map of Strawberryland serves as the main menu for STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE AND HER BERRY BEST FRIENDS and provides 10 interactive locations to launch puzzles. Each puzzle is tied to \"helping\" one of Strawberry Shortcake's friends and is available on three levels of difficulty. By visiting the locations and solving the puzzles, you earn things for Strawberry Shortcake to put into her scrapbook.
For example, you help Orange Blossom make juice by rearranging different kinds of fruit on a grid. When you put three identical fruit pictures in a row or column, they disappear off the grid and become juice. Some of the other puzzles involve hunting for items in a crowded room, filling in musical notes to complete a song, working backward to figure out how to recreate a decorated cookie, and hunting for Apple Dumplin' who is hiding in a grove of trees. In the latter puzzle, you are provided four clues about the desired tree's shape, color, pattern, and decoration.
Is it any good?
While most of the puzzles are fun to solve and great for kids as young as 4, one is too tough for the target audience: The game with Honey Pie requires kids to add and subtract. Parents of preschoolers may need to help with that one. Also, the puzzle about inserting musical notes into a song was challenging.
In addition to earning items that appear in Strawberry Shortcake's scrapbook, kids can get printable black-and-white pictures to color. There's one freestyle Mini game where kids can design their own cake, and two of the best puzzles are playable outside of the story-driven game for high-score bragging rights. Parents worried about how much time their kids spend on the computer will appreciate this game's parental controls, which allow you to set how long your child can play.
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