My son is 9 and is very picky about the games he likes to play and loved this one. There are many games he will get play for a little bit then say he doesn't like them and send them back but not this one.
I have not played the first one so I have nothing for comparison. Game play is simple so anyone can learn it, even master it within a short time. The artistic pieces of the game are probably the biggest plus. Although most of it is repeated and the same from level to level I still find it neat. One big issue for me though is the lack of variety. While each level has a more complicated setup and things it was basically the same, you color every thing, that's it.