Crayola Treasure Adventures
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2007-12-19 Nintendo DS Educational E (Everyone) Crave Entertainment

Who didn't like coloring when they were little? I sure did, and if there is one smell that I remember the most from my childhood, is the smell of the waxy crayons in their box.

Crayola Treasure Adventures is a perfect little game for creative children, turning the DS into a coloring book and the stylus into crayons. As the story goes, colors are disappearing from the world, so the player goes on an adventure accompanied by Tip, a friendly and helpful crayon to get things back to normal.

As it turns out, three villains have stolen the three magic Color Crystals that give color to the world, so things are turning black and white wherever you look. The game is aimed at a very young age group and offers a series of activities that involve coloring something, connecting the dots or putting puzzles together.

Each of the different areas - jungle, desert and pirate cove - is separated into a series of progressive tasks, so you will complete one task and unlock the next one on the map.

The activities are very simple. The jigsaw puzzles have either nine or twelve pieces, so they're not too complicated to put together. In areas where objects are missing (you seem them shining in rainbow hues) you must tap the object and connect the dots in order to make it appear.

The speed-coloring activities are quite fun and the major portion of the game. These situations happen when something or someone starts losing color and fading to gray, and you must color the flashing areas as quickly as possible.

I truly enjoyed the details on these scenes, the illustrations are nicely done and seem like vivid and beautiful watercolors. The background tunes match the environments, whether you are helping a pirate octopus retrieve his clothes (I giggled at the 4-legged boxer shorts and 4-tentacle shirts!) or unveiling Egyptian artifacts.

Every time you complete an activity successfully, you are rewarded with goodies for the virtual coloring book. Your crayon box initially doesn't have much in it, but you will unlock more colors and even markers by completing activities, plus a ton of simple character drawings. You can access it from the main menu, pick your colors and color to your heart's desire. The game is very forgiving, since you can't really color outside the lines of the selected area unless you actually tap outside the lines before you start coloring.

Some smaller spaces are more difficult to select though, and in some occasions I noticed that my stylus would magically create lines across the screen without even touching it. I think the only real disappointment is after coloring so many masterpieces, you have no way of saving them or viewing them later, so it doesn't really replace the traditional coloring book and crayons.

But Crayola Treasure Adventures was a pretty fun experience while it lasted. Sure, I zipped through the entire adventure in less than two hours, but for the little ones, there is a lot of entertainment to be had, especially after completing the main adventure, with all the unlocked pictures waiting to be colored and 120 colors of crayons to use. Perfect for children and parents, since there's all the fun of coloring but none of the mess of markers and paper everywhere!

Special thanks to Kate Hedstrom and Crave Entertainment for providing a copy of this title.