One of the biggest problems with video and computer games is that they seem to be aimed primarily at boys. There is a vast female market to be tapped into and I think the manufacturers have for a long time been missing a trick. They too are beginning to realise this and making blatant yet sometimes clumsy attempts in this direction, but from what I have seen they are still on a learning curve. They seem to think that simply by making something pink or putting cute animals on it is all that is needed. My daughter recently requested a Nintendo DS for her birthday and this is what we found.
She desparately wanted Nintendogs - which is the one that has been hyped. It's not cheap at £30 but she does seem to be enjoying it and it gives a variety of things to do and you can over time add new dogs. There are several Nintendogs with different breeds featured on the box but according to the shop there is no real difference so don't bother buying more than one.
The other games we got were Pippa Funnel - that's all about horses and seems to be pretty good with show-jumping and equestrian, plus caring for your horse. But at £30 is another more expensive one. Though maybe you get what you pay for.
The third game we got was Pawly Pets at £20 - it looked just the ticket as my daughter loves taking all her cuddly animals to the imaginary vets. However, her verdict was that there's hardly anything to the game - you just wander round picking up animals and take them to the vets and there's not much else to do. I haven't yet checked it out to make certain she hasn't missed something - but if she has then surely the game is badly designed anyway ?
She's also had a go on someone else's brain training and quite enjoyed that too. But that's the extent of our experience (and wallet) to date.
Nintendo DS for girls
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10 March 2008
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