Little girls love pink. As stereotypical as it may sounds, it is also generally true. Authors Elizabeth and Victoria Kann took this simple stereotype and have built the successful Pinkalicious franchise of children’s books. The books, while celebrating the color pink, also attempt to teach children a good lesson. The latest in the line of books is Silverlicious, a story about Pinkalicious losing her sweet tooth, has also made the transition to the handheld gaming space with a DS game of the same name.
While I know my daughters’ book shelf has Pinkalicious on it, and they know the character, that is where my knowledge of the series ends. So going into Silverlicious I had no idea what the core concept of the game would be other than it looked like a simplistic platformer directed primarily at little girls. There is little denying that the game is in fact those two things but it also something more than that.
Silverlicious is a platformer and like many kids games there is seemingly no fail state to the gameplay, however Silverlicious is story driven, telling the story of how Pinkalicious lost her sweet tooth and her quest to get it back. Nearly every level is preceded by some delivery of the story, setting up the context for the next fantastical area that is to be explored. With so many kids games just throwing its players into the world with very little context, it is nice to see a game take its story delivery seriously.
Another aspect that separates Silverlicious from other kids games is that, despite not having a fail state, it still requires the player to learn the game mechanics in order to progress. Instead of making Silverlicious a straightforward experience, like so many other kids games, Silverlicious’s levels are filled with platforming puzzles that can only be solved by utilizing a particular power, activated by changing into the appropriate costume. Changing costumes is as simple as a button press and the fun of the game comes from figuring out when to actually utilize the powers.
Even with these positive aspects, the game is really nothing an adult gamer would care about unless of course they are directly playing with their child. And that is the primary issue with Silverlicious, it is a great game for a five year old but not for anyone that has played more than a couple platformers in their time.
2 / 5
In the past with these reviews I have utilized my oldest daughter and my son to help with these pieces. This time I offered up the opportunity to my four year old daughter, who also happens to be a lover of all things pink. She loved being able to help me out with the review, while also playing on her sister’s Nintendo DS, but her experience with Silverlicious was a mixed one that did not start out very well.
Having been playing games for so long, I often forget there was a time before games for me, a time when I had to learn how to work the device and figure out the game mechanics on my own. Silverlicious was that game for my four year old. That is not to say that Silverlicious was her first game but it was the first game that made her learn the device and the game mechanics to progress, as opposed to just having them handed to her always, and let us just say that it was a bit of a struggle.
However, where most kids games do not offer a reason to keep playing once you hit a wall, Silverlicious has the story to drive it forward and my daughter wanted to know what happened next and so she kept plugging away at it. Early on when she would get stuck, she would hand the DS over to either my wife or myself asking for some help but towards the end she was figuring out that she needed certain costumes to reach certain areas and was beginning to get the mechanics down. It was still a little tough for her, especially considering the DS is a bit big in her hands but there was a noticeable evolution of her abilities.
When asked if she enjoyed it she said she did quite a bit and her favorite part of the game was collecting the items on each level. Ultimately, it ended up being a learning experience for her and thanks to the game’s personality it had enough draw that she saw it through to the end.
5 / 5
As a reviewer, I hate dealing with qualifiers. Good should be good regardless but sometimes that just is not the case. Silverlicious is a good game for little girls learning to play games. It is not designed for anyone else and honestly that is OK.
- Story driven platformer
- Engaging platforming mechanic
- Educates kids on gaming basics without being overly hard
- No fail state
- No appeal to anyone outside of target audience
4 / 5