Hello Kitty Parachute Paradise Delivers the Personality Kids Will Love

Posted: June 30, 2009 in Arcade

Much talk around the iPhone/iPod Touch gaming community has focused on what constitutes a premium game, and I’m sure the debate will continue. But when I saw Hello Kitty Parachute Paradise, the first thing that crossed my mind was this game will have a tough time breaking through the noise of the iTunes store. After playing through this a bit, I sure hope this game garners some attention because it is an incredibly enjoyable children’s game with high production values that certainly justifies the mid-tier pricing.

Hello Kitty Parachute Paradise is looks and sounds great. From the opening intro movie to your choice of 6 different soundtracks, the game is vibrantly colored with some terrific animation. The soundtracks are definitely catchy and almost jazzy in tone—Home Sweet Home, A Tumbling Toy, Let’s Play, A Joyful Day, The Apple Tree, and To Be With You.

The target audience may be for younger children where the devs could have easily skimped on certain things. But the reality is that the game exudes a charm and personality that would make Hello Kitty proud.

The game focuses around designing “My Room” which is essentially a room that you can design and customize with special items. Located in the middle of the room is a semi-interactive Hello Kitty that reacts based on touch (think Pillsbury Doughboy when you poke his tummy). It’s nothing elaborate, but still I think this would be entertaining for younger children. A Menu tab is located at the bottom of the screen, and by tapping on this, a submenu appears with Inventory, Settings, Help and the game’s Play button. Tapping on Inventory will bring up a host of icons of available items that can be dragged into your room. Once an item or items are in My Room, tap on the Hand icon in the upper right corner and these items can then be moved and placed in whatever position you desire.

I can see the appeal of this for a child and can imagine how amazed they might be by this. In addition, a camera button is located in the bottom right corner where you can take a snapshot of the room that is then stored in the device’s photo section. From here, the photo can be emailed or saved as wallpaper. For many of us, this may not sound like a big deal, but for a child, this can be pretty entertaining. I think the devs did a terrific job incorporating other Hello Kitty characters into My Room.

Of course, if you want more items, then Hello Kitty has the dubiously named “Sky High” game, which consists of 10 levels, 5 of which are unlocked to start, and the latter 5 unlocked based on meeting specific scoring requirements. These levels are accessed in the Staging Area with a progressive level of difficulty with high scores for each.

The game involves the use of a slingshot to shoot Hello Kitty up in the air, and as she parachutes back down to Earth, collect items and score points for height and for items collected on the way down. Using tilt, you maneuver Hello Kitty through the obstacles, and the controls are responsive enough that I can tilt on a dime if need be. Each level has a different theme with matching layouts. Some of the initial levels have names such as Spring Garden, Cookie Monster, Falling in Fall, Bubble Ocean, and KT and the Beanstalk. Even for me, while the levels are similar, the different themes are lighthearted and have a fun feel to them. As Hello Kitty glides back to land, other characters appear in bubbles such as Pochacco and Keroppi that can be rescued for additional points. What would’ve have been perfect is an option to choose other characters besides Hello Kitty to parachute back.

Each level has its own type of enemies to avoid which by the way will cause Hello Kitty to frown and lose strength, and different items that can be collected to decorate your room. For example, in Spring Garden, enemies to avoid are bees and ladybugs, while mushrooms and caterpillars are the baddies in KT and the Beanstalk. As items are collected, they are highlighted on a submenu and can be used immediately to decorate My Room.

Overall, Hello Kitty Parachute Paradise is great little game for kids and the design component with My Room adds a creative element that complements the gaming part of the title. The game is well presented, and while the devs could’ve easily separated My Room and Sky High, the combination delivers an overall feel that should appeal to the child in all of us—male or female.

Albie Meter: 4.5 Stars (recommended for the creativity and charm this title presents in a great little package that kids should love)

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