Good and bad news, Barbie fans. Bad news? This game is surprisingly even lamer than I expected. Good news? It’s not the worst game I’ve ever played.
It wasn’t until I posted a photo of the START MENU for Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses that I became aware that this game is actually based on a movie. I suppose me not knowing that isn’t entirely surprising, considering I’m a thirty three year old man and Barbie was never really my thing in the first place. But theres a first for everything and my wife and child picked this title out for me at a flea market so here we are.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with the movie or the game; prepare yourself for a true, slow moving epic about the duty of royalty and the consequences of true power akin to The Godfather or Game of Thrones.
Developed by Blue Monkey Studios (the masterminds behind other epic titles such as; Scrabble, Jelly Belly: Ballistic Beans and Barbie Horse Adventures: Mystery Ride) and published by Activision the game was released November 14th 2006.
It’s loosely based on the fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and stars Barbie as, Genevieve – one of twelve sisters being raised by their windowed father who also happens to be King. Apparently, dad can’t keep up with twelve daughters so he invites their cousin, Duchess Rowena, over to the castle to raise these little ladies with some class but turns out shes an evil bitch that poisons the old man and forces the girls out of the Castle.
On a desperate search for the elixir to cure their ailing father, all twelve ladies split up. With the help of your cat, an annoying ass parrot and your friend, Derek, you as Genevieve are tasked with finding all of your sisters, seeing if they have found the elixir and then teaching them to dance. It turns out the only way true evil can be defeated is not by weapons but by harnessing the power of song and dance.
Oh, and not to mention this family (the twelve sisters) are just painfully fucking white. Listen to these names: Ashlyn, Blair, Courtney, Delia, Edeline, Fallon, Genevieve, Hadley, Isla, Janessa, Kathleen and Lacey. I felt like I was transported to a John Mayer concert in 2004.
The gameplay is just hellishly plain. There are four total areas that all jut off one center area. In each new area, you find three more of your sisters, playing mini games to find them, I guess? They don’t really explain WHY you have to play the mini games most times. It just kind of happens because why not?
Some gang of golden men occasionally pop out of no where to give you a pep talk and shoot the shit. That’s always nice. The gameplay is predictably extremely easy – as it was developed for players a third of my age. It’s impossible to die. The mechanics are slow and bulky. The mini games are repetitive. All of that would ultimately be forgiven if Derek’s stupid fucking Parrot would just shut up once in awhile. It sounds like a turbo Gilbert Godfried. It’s awful. Nightmare inducing, even.
The game is dull and easy but for me at least it was a different gaming experience so it’ll probably rate higher than it should have. There were a couple of moments that I just felt sort of awkward playing it but at the end of the day, a friend of mine said, “Only real gamers play Barbie and Bratz games”.