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Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time DS Review

14/11/2011 Thinking Story Gamer Review
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Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time DS

Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time



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Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time DS is a shrill, irritating and extremely pink game that's more ghastly than any survival horror.

If you have a young daughter, or know someone who does, then chances are you know about the tyranny of pink, the way that products are marketed to girls with a developing awareness of their gender by being extremely-extremely-girly-girly-not-for-boys-very-very-PINK.

This branding of products as uber-feminine by making them bright pink is cynical, it reinforces gender stereotypes, and it can make buying toys and clothes for a young girl that are actually nice to look at very difficult.

Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time is a game that has fallen completely to the tyranny of pink. Fancy Nancy herself is obsessed with fanciness, a sort of arch girlyness involving pink, shiny things and a kind of affected poshness. She likes frills and lace and china cups.

In short, Nancy is absolutely ghastly.

In Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time, Nancy has to prepare for a tea party by collecting ten things the party needs. The items Nancy needs are at the end of each level, after a bit of middling platforming in which she can collect some other bits.

The miscellaneous junk she can find includes fancies (i.e. small plastic jewel type things) which can be traded in for stickers as part of a sub-game, images to stick those stickers to, and letters to make fancy words.

Fanciness: a sort of arch girlyness involving pink, shiny things and affected poshness.

These platforming sections are quite short, but over-extended by a fiddly mechanic whereby Nancy has to change costumes for different special abilities. Unfortunately these abilities aren't that special, so a costume change is required every time you want Nancy to jump straight up, or cross a gap between two platforms. It's an immense faff and slows down what passes for action in the game.

With all the sticker books to fill and fancies to collect, there's quite a lot to potentially do in this game.

You probably won't want to, though. The whole game looks ugly, with an illustrative style that doesn't really suit animation, and animation that's poor anyway. The music is irritating, and while a full voice track is a rare luxury in a DS game, in this case the voice acting is so shrill and hideous you'll wish they'd stuck to text only.

An obnoxious chunk of gender-stereotyped tat.

It's an incentive to rush through the levels as fast as possible, collect all the party parts in the short, cursory object-finding sequence at the end of each, and get the whole thing over and done with. The ending is perfunctory, but at least it's the end.

Better still, don't bother at all. Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time is an obnoxious chunk of gender-stereotyped tat. As a game, to misquote an old Peter Cook routine, it may be short but it is extremely boring, while its entire aesthetic is an assault on the senses.

Actively avoid, especially if you're looking for a game for girls.

Written by Mark Clapham

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Mark Clapham writes the Story Gamer column.

"I love a good story. Games tell many different stories: the stories told through cut scenes and dialogue, but also the stories that emerge through gameplay, the stories players make for themselves."

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