Can I assume that if you are reading this, you, at the very least, have kids? That you are regularly forced to endure the saccharine nonsense of children's TV, and may even be aware of Raa Raa the Noisy Lion?

If you don't, I suggest you leave now.

Years spent writing reviews has instilled in me an instinct to savage games like Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, in the same way he would - in reality - savage his animal friends.

But rather that going straight for the jugular, and leaving little more than a bloody carcass to be picked over by the internet's vultures, I must suppress my instincts and view Raa Raa for what it is - an educational toy for preschoolers.

As nature intended

That's not to give Raa Raa a pass - it still has to work as intended and be entertaining. Having been a kindergarden teacher, I can see where it succeeds.

Raa Raa the Noisy Lion lacks any ambition or imagination, but that's exactly what children bring. For a 3-year-old, a ring of chairs can be a mountain or a lake - all it takes is the sliver of an idea.

By virtue of its roots as a CBeebies show, its young audience already has enough mental fodder to make the mundane exciting. Add to this a good number of games that work as intended, plus a smattering of education, and Raa Raa has enough momentum to reach its modest goals.


Importantly Raa Raa's selection of mini-games does have clear educational value. Divided into five categories - action, puzzle, music, brainteasers, and observation - the 15 games will test younger players' memory, logic, word recognition, and hand-eye coordination.

Each game is fairly self-explanatory due to its exclusively touchscreen interface. Combine this with the fact that many of the games have real-world equivalents, and most kids will pick it up in seconds with minimal instruction.

Make no mistake about Raa Raa's intended audience: it is for preschoolers, and even at the highest of the three difficulty settings, it will do nothing to hold the attention of anyone over 5 and a half (the half is important, just ask any 5-year-old).

Far from roar-some

After this 66-month tipping point, games like guiding a static image of Raa Raa slowly down an obstacle-filled path will prove about as much fun to your child as being forced to listen to the game's repetitive soundtrack.

Oh, had I not mentioned the music yet? Well, why not pay a visit to the Raa Raa website, because the show's theme tune plays on a mind-numbing loop over everything else in the game.

Bear this in mind if you relinquish control of the volume when handing the DS to your kid. It only took two loops of the track to have me pondering how hot knitting needles would have to be should I want to use them to cauterise my inner ear.

If you set out with no ambition, then it's hard to fail. The kindest and cruellest thing I can say about Raa Raa the Noisy Lion is that it works as intended - blending a little education with a little fun for a little audience.