I'll probably lose any credibility I have as a critic for saying this, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Sparkle Snapshots 3D.
If you like manipulating your own photos with unbearably twee stickers, burn-out-your-retinas paint sets, and goofy backgrounds, then I think you might just feel the same.
Sparkle Snapshots 3D is software for little girls. That's not to stereotype lady gamers, but just to acknowledge that the target demographic is absolutely of the younger female persuasion.
Presented in pink and pastel shades, with a friendly voiceover explaining how to use all of its functionality, it's a welcoming title. It never quite condescends to you, but it's very thorough.Instant gratification
When you start the software you can choose to either upload your own image from the SD card in your 3DS or take your own shot. Using your own snaps is a doddle, and when you save a copy after editing you won't lose the original.
Taking your own photo is also straightforward. You're asked if you'd like to set a timer to delay the shot being taken, as well as what type of lighting level you'd like the camera to adjust to. Or, if all of this is too confusing, you can just opt for an instant shot that's set to automatic.
There aren't thousands of options to tweak and set everything just right, but this isn't the product for an audience that wants that.
When you're ready to begin manipulating your masterpiece you'll find a surprising number of tools for the task. You scribble on the bottom screen with your stylus, using different sizes of brush and multiple levels of zoom to draw things just the way you want.
Make a mistake and you can undo your error, but it's only possible to go back two steps in the process. You can also save your progress at any point and revert back to a previous version should you go wildly wrong.It's a me!
Among Sparkle Snapshots 3D's neatest features is the inclusion of preset backgrounds. Taking a rubber to the image clears the space entirely, allowing a generic landscape to peek through from behind.
Clever use of this means that you and your friends can, in a few brushstrokes, be transplanted into a field of stars, or the front of a postcard, or the Mushroom Kingdom.
There are more sets available to purchase, but at the time of writing they're all based on the Mario franchise.
Unfortunately, Sparkle Snapshots 3D has its problems. I couldn't find a way to save my progress mid-edit, turn off my 3DS, and then return to it at a later date. You have to finish every image you start in one session.
There's no sharing via social networks, and - worst of all - the cameras on the 3DS give your snaps a low-resolution look in contrast with the high quality backgrounds and objects that you can insert.
If you're an adult gamer with hardcore gaming tastes, or even if you're just an adult who likes manipulating digital images, then you may as well forget that this app exists. It's not for you.Sparkle Snapshots 3D isn't a replacement for Photoshop and an SLR, but for younger gamers it might just be the 21st century equivalent of Paint and a Polaroid.