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Article:    Barbie Software & Games 


There is certainly no shortage of software starring "superdoll" Barbie, but finding a really good title poses some challenge.

Parents concerned with some of the themes often associated with Barbie (such as her clotheshorse tradition, "too perfect" figure, etc.), will find them in Barbie software titles. Some of these titles break a few of the stereotypes, casting Barbie in roles like secret agent, detective, athlete, and marine biologist, for example. But, even in these games, clothes and make-up are a focus.  

Barbie Software Releases

Barbie Beach Vacation allows kids to go on vacation with Barbie and her friends -- to a beautiful island. It's all fun and games here -- nothing educational -- as a vacation should be. Kids take part in 7 activities, either in a directed manner in adventure mode, or by selecting activities on their own. Players build sandcastles, go on an underwater "photo shoot", assist Barbie in some rather provocative dances, take island photos, go water skiing, surf, and, finally, throw a beach party. This program is rather fun, sometimes awkward to play, and has questionable replay value. See our screenshot gallery of the game. [For more information, or to buy: Barbie Beach Vacation at for approximately $19.99 US]

Kelly Club invites fans of Barbie's little sister to join Kelly and her clubhouse friends for creative and free-play fun on the computer. Children go on mini-adventures, such as a Jungle River Adventure, in which children return lost baby animals to their mothers--after dressing up the dolls in jungle attire, of course. Kids were disappointed when the cakes they spent time decorating didn't appear on the tea party table (instead, the program's default cakes were there). Also, the cursor is a bit awkward throughout the program--younger children had the hardest time with it. The program is best for ages 3-5. Kelly Club is fluffy, somewhat limited, but fun. [Buy Kelly Club at for approximately $19.99 US]

Secret Agent Barbie takes kids on a secret mission to capture a fashion thief! A number of gadgets are at Secret Agent Barbie's disposal, including Pink Vision Goggles and a Lipstick Recorder. This adventure game takes Barbie on a tour of the world, searching for clues. We had some maddening technical problems with the game -- it didn't work on two of our systems. When we found a system it would work on, we were pleased with some elements of the game. Kids have to, for example, solve a tile puzzle in order to open a safe and sneak past guards. Children under the age of 8 will need help, however. Also, once the mission is solved, there isn't anything new to bring kids back to the program. [Buy Secret Agent Barbie at for approximately $19.99 US]

Barbie Team Gymnastics involves kids in choreographing gymnastics routines for Barbie and friends. Plenty of practice is required before the girls can enter gymnastics competitions. Younger children will have a hard time with some of the timing demands. [Buy Barbie Team Gymnastics at for approximately $19.99 US]

If you own a PlayStation One console, you might want to try Barbie Explorer, which is really quite fun. Kids set out on an adventure to find four treasures and guide Barbie in her travels to Tibet, Egypt, and the African Jungle. Kids can play solo or with a friend. Drawing upon logic skills is necessary in order to solve the game's puzzles. It's easy enough to control for children ages 6 and up, and it's a pleasurable (though sometimes challenging) experience too! [Buy Barbie Explorer at]

More Barbie Games

A good--and economical--way to sample some older software releases starring the superdoll is to purchase the bundle, Barbie Birthday Collection. Three CD-ROMs are included, one of which is Barbie Magic Hair Styler, pictured at left. We have a full review and screenshot gallery of this package. [For more information, or to buy: Barbie Birthday Collection] 

Our favorite Barbie title so far is Barbie Pet Rescue. This title requires some thinking skills, and features wonderfully rich graphics. The pets are especially easy on the eyes. [Buy Barbie Pet Rescue at] 

Barbie Magic Genie Bottle and CD-ROM features a special Magic Genie Bottle that connects to your computer's game port. In the game, players attempt to recover magical gems. Along the way, they play games and solve puzzles. [Buy Barbie Magic Genie Bottle & CD-ROM at for approximately $19.99 US]

Detective Barbie 2: Vacation Mystery is best for kids ages 7 and up. This title requires more brainpower than most of the Barbie software games available. Players look for hidden jewels, pay attention to clues, and solve puzzles in and around an old inn. [Buy Detective Barbie 2: Vacation Mystery at for approximately $19.99 US]

Take a look at more Barbie software games







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May 2002

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