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Software Review:    Barbie Birthday Collection



This title bundles three previously released Barbie CD-ROMs:

  • Adventures with Barbie: Ocean Discovery
  • Generation Girl Gotta Groove CD-ROM
  • Barbie Magic Hair Styler   

Adventures with Barbie: Ocean Discovery is a moderately fun, and somewhat limited, adventure game for children approximately ages 5 and up. The fun? Kids get to guide Barbie underwater in search of pieces of a treasure map. Why is it limited? The educational value of the game is rather low. Although a "save the marine life" sub-theme is featured, children won't come away from the game with many facts about the sea and its creatures. 

Barbie takes on the role of marine biologist in the game, and her search for treasure involves swimming underwater, looking for clues. Sandy the Dolphin is her faithful companion, and players' source for game hints. Children take part in assorted activities, one of which is a puzzle in which kids fix the coral reef. Kids collect gold charms, use a magnifying glass, and solve problems on their quest.

Barbie Magic Hair Styler is a simple title that allows children to "doll up" the dolls. First, kids select one of 4 dolls--Barbie herself, Christie, Kira, and Teresa--after which they choose a special theme, be it Wedding, Career, Dream Date, or Costume Party. Then, it's off to the beauty salon, where they can play with hairstyles, apply make-up, and add accessories to their chosen model. Kids can rotate their doll to get side and back-angle views, snap a "photo" of the dolls to keep in a scrapbook, and watch their doll in action in a short video clip.

Barbie Magic Hair Styler fails to offer much variety or originality, yet was very appealing to testers. Barbie fans ages 3-4 will actually spend a lot of time with the game. 

In Generation Girl Gotta Groove CD-ROM, players meet with Barbie and her "Generation" girlfriends at International High. Kids create sets, develop and practice dance routines, and choose costumes for the girls' performances. The Generation Girls have different specialties, such as salsa, swing, hip-hop, and pop music. 

All three titles in the bundle are low in educational content. However, they can be fun for Barbie fans and they have some replay value. The low price of this 3 CD-ROM set makes it worthwhile, if only to add some variety to a child's software collection. 

Children under 5 or 6 will need help playing Ocean Discovery, but will enjoy the free-play Magic Hairstyler title.

  See More Screenshots -  Barbie Birthday Collection Picture Gallery

  • Economical way to add variety to a child's software collection.
  • Moderately engaging activities will please some young Barbie fans.


  • Not very educational.
  • None of the 3 CD-ROMs stands out as particularly impressive.



For Windows By: Vivendi  Ages 3-7 Published: 2002











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Reviewed April 2002
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