Natalie Brooks: Treasures of the Lost Kingdom is a point and click game, with a few hidden object sections mixed in for good measure. Playing as the hapless teenager, Natalie Brooks, the story follows Ms. Brooks, as she tries to rescue her Grandad, who's been kidnapped. The kidnapper reveals that he'll kill Natalie's Grandad within three days - unless she manages to find a mysterious treasure map, and bring it to him. And so begins an adventure that'll take you, and young Natalie, around the world, from the Empire State Building, to Big Ben, and even a Mayan temple.
There are thirteen levels on offer in the game, each of which sees you exploring a location, and solving puzzles each room holds. It's a game of observation and logic, as you explore each room, collect available items, and use them to disable alarms, open chests, and otherwise progress through the level. Figuring out what you've got to use where is a large part of the challenge, and keen observational skills are required.
Dividing up the action are a number of traditional, logical puzzles, which see you doing anything from trying to route current from one side of a box to another using a limited amount of wire, to rearranging pieces of a picture to form a complete image.
There's a lot of reading in this, and, more importantly, it's also a bit dodgily translated, which means younger children may struggle understanding what they have to do. It's not just broken English, either - at times, the characters actually tell you to do the opposite of what you're meant to be doing, which is sure to confuse some younger players.
Sadly, the controls aren't as logical as they should be either, as certain puzzles seem a bit dodgy, with you having to touch the screen several times in order to get the game to realise you want to move a piece around the board, for example. Adding to this, the disappointingly blurry graphics make spotting key items a lot harder than it should be, so a DSiXL is recommended.
There is an unlimited hint system to point you in the right direction, but if they don't have that much patience, children are likely to get fed up of this.
Natalie Brooks: Treasures of the Lost Kingdom doesn't contain anything that parents should be concerned about. There are a few utterances of the word "God", and one character refers to a story as being "bull", but other than that, there's nothing to write home about.
Sadly, there's no multiplayer mode here - although, as a parent, you'll likely find your child coming to you for help with puzzles, spotting objects, or otherwise understanding the story. Better put your sleuthing hat on - you're going to need it!
Format Reviewed: Nintendo DS