Girls get to control their favorite character Nancy as she helps plan an extravagant tea party with her neighbor Mrs. Devine. In the process, girls will talk to and help favorite characters from the books; jump, spin and twirl through environments, picking up little treasures; play five minigames; learn big words from Nancy, and explore other activities like coloring and placing stickers on things.
Staying true to the theme of the "Fancy Nancy" books where Nancy loves all things that are glamorous, girls earn "Fancies" points by exploring the activities in this video game. These "Fancies" can be used at the in-game Posh Store to buy animated stickers to decorate things within the game.
To help Mrs. Devine with her upcoming tea party, players must search Nancy's neighborhood for missing tea sets. They do this by visiting five characters from the books: Mrs. Devine, Nancy's little sister, Nancy's Mom, Nancy's friend Bree and Nancy's Dad.
To visit people, you first go through a platforming area where you direct Nancy to jump up on things to collect sparkling jewels and letters of the alphabet. Nancy has several different outfits she can wear, and each one gives her different abilities within these platforming areas. For example, when wearing her butterfly costume, she can glide for long periods in the air and reach platforms that would not be possible to attain if she were dressed in regular clothing. Likewise, Nancy will walk through areas where sprinklers are watering the ground; so she should change into her rain gear and put up her umbrella.
Upon arriving at the location of her friend, Nancy then enters a "Searchout" mode where she needs to find hidden things. Players tap things with their stylus to collect them, including the tea sets, stickers, sticker pages, wrapped presents which unlock mini-games and other items requested by Nancy's friends.
After collecting these various items, Nancy can return to her room. From there, she can add collected stickers to her sticker book, play the mini-games that she has unlocked, fill in coloring pages, visit the Posh Shop to pick up new stickers and complete "Fancy" words from the letters collected. If you are playing on the Nintendo DSi, you can also take your own photo which you can decorate with special stickers.
While not perfect, Fancy Nancy Tea Party Time! offers girls lots of play opportunities. With so many things to do, girls can explore this game for a long time. The mini-games are particularly fun, and they range from popping bubbles to a match-three-beads game to a matching pairs game played with vegetables.
Also good is the concept of collecting letters to spell "fancy" words. This activity will expose young girls to new words they might not know.
Other clever features include dialogue that is spoken aloud as well written, so pre-readers can play this game. And when girls go to the Posh Store to collect new stickers, they don't have to spend their earned "Fancies." Stickers simply become available when girls hit certain point levels.
The game misses the mark just a little in the platform gaming sequences. They are too hard for the youngest players in the targeted audience of little girls ages 4 to 7. Girls new to gaming need to have the experience be simple. But here, girls have to move Nancy forward and backward in the scene as well as jump. And she can't land on many platforms unless she is wearing an outfit that gives her specific powers. Even when dressed correctly, this platforming is difficult to master. Luckily, you don't have to do this platforming -- you can just walk through the scene ignoring the platforms until you meet the next character.
Fans of "Fancy Nancy," particularly those ages 6 and 7 will enjoy this game. They will love that the game is predominantly pink and full of glamorous items to collect. But it is more than that -- this is a game with a wide variety of things for girls to explore, including a few activities that make them think.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.