The Smurfs Learn and Play (Switch)

In the distant past, long before streaming services and 24-hour cartoon channels, there was a thing called Saturday Morning Cartoons.  Kids back then, me included, looked forward to this time because it was one of the only times TV was made just for kids.  And as a child of the 80s, one of the most popular of these cartoons I remember was The Smurfs.  Originally a European comic strip, The Smurfs gained popularity in the US from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon.  I was never a super big fan of it, but I watched it anyway because, one, kids will watch pretty much anything.  And two, it came on right before the Pac-Man cartoon.  In recent years, The Smurfs have had a bit of a resurgence with a handful of computer animated movies and specials, and a new series on Nickelodeon.  And there’s been a few Smurfs video games I’ve reviewed in the past couple of years, like a kart racer and two 3D platformers.  And now the youngest players get their turn on the Switch with The Smurfs Learn and Play!  There are four games on here, so let’s take a look at them!

Hide and Seek

This is basically a hidden object picture find, kind of like Where’s Waldo or those hidden pictures in Highlight magazine.  There’s a surprisingly big amount of pictures for you to do, and each one gives you several objects to look out for.  You can use the touch screen or move a cursor with the L stick.  The touch screen is easier, but the control stick is more accurate here.  I like that even though the title screen and menus use the 3D Smurf models, the actual games use the 2D comic and old cartoon illustrations, since that’s what I’m more familiar with.

Telling Time

This isn’t really a game, but a virtual picture storybook you can read.  The first few pages explain how to read an analog clock, and the rest of the book explains the Smurfs’ everyday schedules by the hour.  Turns out Smurfs have pretty mundane lives.


This game lets you trace every letter of the alphabet, in upper and lower case, as well as numbers.  You can trace with the cursor and L stick but it doesn’t work very well.  Luckily you can also use the touch screen in handheld mode, which is much better.


And last, here you must match pictures to their silhouettes.  There are two ways to play.  One gives you unlimited time to match up a few pictures with their shadows.  The other is a time attack where you get one shadow and four pictures and must quickly pick the right one.  You get a minute to do as many as possible to get a high score.  You can use the touch screen or cursor and L stick here, and both work fine.

Kid Factor:

And those are all the games!  Nothing violent or objectionable here, although one hidden picture page has a Smurf about hit to Brainy over the head with a hammer!  Reading skill is required, and you’d think a game that has letter and number recognition would have a voice reading the Telling Time story aloud but it doesn’t.  So a parent will have to read that to their kids.  But for five bucks, this game will keep younger players entertained for a good while.  The Smurfs Learn and Play is rated E for Everyone.

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