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Nintendo Wii Review: Build-a-Bear Workshop — Friendship Valley

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Join Build-A-Bear’s favorite characters and prepare Build-A-Bearville for the town’s big celebration in Build-a-Bear Workshop: Friendship Valley. If you’re looking for a simple, non-violent, Nintendo Wii game this is a great pick.

Using 1 of 13 characters, navigate your way from neighborhood to countryside completing fun tasks to get ready for the big celebration. Use your Build-A-Bear friend to plant and water flowers, collect berries for yummy desserts, and even build houses. Build-a-Bear Workshop: Friendship Valley also has tons of mini-games and side activities like skateboarding and basketball.

This interactive game starts off with two modes, in Adventure mode you pick your character, name then and receive your backpack and first task. Your backpack will be very important as it not only holds important materials, but also holds your camera to take fun pictures for tasks and your own collection, and most importantly the backpack holds your map.

Here’s one hint that I learned through trial and error: When I first started playing, I didn’t realize you could use the map to “transport” you to different Build-A-Bearville locations, instead I just ran in and out of each location to complete my tasks. This became very monotonous, so definitely use your map when possible to go from place to place.

Have fun with your own style by creating different looks when you change your Build-A-Bear’s clothes and decorate your house. Or play seriously and collect medals from mini games, get awards from Bearemy, the town’s mayor. Or get down to business. Each furry friend that you meet along the way has a different number of hearts, once you complete each of their tasks you become friends. You can also unlock special codes for virtual gifts on the Build A Bear website.

Graphics aren’t really impressive but for the audience it’s geared at, I don’t think they’ll mind too much. Controls are very easy, my 3-year-old and 13-year-old sister were playing using the controller and nunchuck and had a great time.

There were a few small issues I personally had with the game, one being that sometimes I would take forever to complete a task and realize after a while, that I was doing it wrong. Some of the tasks are not very specific so it’s easy to get confused. I did find though that often there will be a very small exclamation point in red and yellow to “point” you in the right direction. Another small detail is that sometimes the game direction arrow, that helps you get around Build-A-Bearville doesn’t point in the exact direction, so if your little ones are playing they may need a little help, otherwise they may just be running into building walls all day.

Overall, Build-a-Bear Workshop: Friendship Valley is a great game for those ages 12 and younger, especially if you are a Build-A-Bear fan.

Build-a-Bear Workshop: Friendship Valley is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

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