Nov 112012

With the winter months quickly descending upon us, it is hard to think about having a picnic, but that’s just what the people at Majesco would have us do while playing their recently released game for the 3DS entitled Hello Kitty Picnic. This adorable collection of kid-focused game puts players to the task of helping Hello Kitty get ready for a picnic by completing various mini-games, all while seeing super cute renderings of their favorite Sanrio characters in 3D on the upper screen. It also will likely put parents to the task of trying to figure out just why a cat with no mouth would be planning a picnic, since she wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of the food.

The Good
This collection is the perfect thing for young gamers-in-training that would likely get too frustrated with a more difficult game. The five mini-games cover a variety of themes and difficulties, such as putting berries in the correct container, which was easy, to games like sliding puzzles which were much more difficult. Once completing a task successfully, the player is either awarded a piece of clothing for Hello Kitty, or a decoration for her room, which can be played with during the game’s “dress up” mode. The game even allows kids to take pictures of their favorite outfits and save them in an album to view later. Aside from the forgiving difficulty, Hello Kitty Picnic is kid friendly in another way. Each game has a full set of instructions, which are read verbally by Hello Kitty.

You can also decorate the scenes with items you unlock while playing. Remember Colorforms? It’s just like that.

The Bad
Creating a game as easy as Hello Kitty Picnic can be a double-edged sword. The cast of Sanrio characters appeals to such a wide array of people, that it is quite possible an older player could pick this game up and be utterly underwhelmed by the speed at which they sail through these games. Also, it was a little disappointing to see nothing happening on the 3D screen other than some nicely rendered character models standing around looking cute. This late in the 3DS’s life cycle, it seems almost crucial to at least try to implement the top screen in some fashion.

Berry sorting fun at its finest!

It’s great to see a game so expertly tailored to a younger audience on the 3DS. Not only are the mini-games approachable by just about anyone able to hold the 3DS and a stylus at the same time, but they are designed with a difficulty that ensures even the tiniest of people can feel some satisfaction as they play. It’s also great to see that Sanrio envisions a world free of discrimination; a place where kitties, froggies, and penguiny birdy thingies can all get along and plan a picnic together. The world of Sanrio is one so unblinded by bigotry, that even a kitty without a mouth can find her place on a picnic blanket with her friends; and somehow manage to enjoy sandwiches and potato salad.

Hello Kitty Picnic

Simplistic mini-games means all kinds of young people can be entertained by Hello Kitty and her motley crew on the 3DS.Unfortunately, the nature of this game means that older Sanrio fans will probably not enjoy this very much. It was also disappointing to see no gameplay occurring on the upper screen whatsoever.
VerdictIf there is a child gamer in your home that you trust to hold your 3DS, then they will probably get a kick out of this game.

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