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The Barbie Diaries: High School Mystery (Game Boy Advance) artwork

The Barbie Diaries: High School Mystery (Game Boy Advance) review


"If you ever get around to playing The Barbie Diaries: High School Mystery, then your health and safety may be at risk. As the warning screen at the start says, you need to read the Health and Safety Precautions Booklet before you start the game, because the last thing we need are people having heart attacks or exploding. Barbie demands it. "



If you ever get around to playing The Barbie Diaries: High School Mystery, then your health and safety may be at risk. As the warning screen at the start says, you need to read the Health and Safety Precautions Booklet before you start the game, because the last thing we need are people having heart attacks or exploding. Barbie demands it.

Barbie also demands something else: the tv anchor spot at her high school. Even though Raquelle, her rival, already nabbed the position, Mr. Wexler is willing to fire her if you snatch up a big news story. Fortunately for you, someone has stolen auction items and has hidden them all over the school. You, as Barbie, take it upon yourself to skip classes so you can investigate this matter, find the items, and catch the person responsible. Go, girl.

It ain't gonna be easy, but with your BDA (Barbie Diary Assistant), you can triumph over anything. Like Batman. This little gizmo has a mirror, text messaging, an infrared scope, and a safe breaker, everything a girl needs to grow big and strong. With BDA in hand, you'll travel around the school, talk to other kids that also happen to skip classes, and get involve in various exciting situations. A big chunk of gum on the floor? That's alright, with Barbie's swift moves, you could just walk around it. See a stack of books in the middle of the library? Well, even though you can walk around that too, you can be daring and jump over it! And of course, one of the biggest obstacles for Barbie appears in the principal's office: arranging the mail. There's a time limit, too! Snaps!

Fret not, Barbie lovers, no matter what the task is or how rough it can be at first, you can't lose or die. Sure, Barbie could probably get brain damage by getting hit with slow-moving soccer balls or possibly fall off the roof of the school when jumping over some tar, but thankfully, this game is rated E. Whew. Oh, yeah, a possible fire hazard brakes out early on, which could have set the entire school ablaze, resulting in many deaths.

So, as you crack open safes, sneak into the teachers restroom, and snoop around the once-locked teacher's lounge, the only thing you'll have to worry about is growing impatient with the game's pace. Basically, for the majority of this title, you'll go from place to place, talking to people, looking for items, and doing silly minigames (like doing the mail and unscrambling pictures) in your quest to steal someone's job. What makes this annoying is how it's done. Let's say you need to make it to the art room from the AV room, which is like, 2 seconds away. You move into the hallway and suddenly smoke blocks your path, so you have to go back into the room you came from and pick up a fan. You use the fan to get ride of the smoke, and you make it to the art room. Nothing's there.

So, you go to the AV room and unscramble a picture. Afterwards, you head back to the art room again and finally find an auction item. Then you go to the chemistry lab next door for a second and back to the AV room, and this just goes on and on. That's actually the start of the game... this type of gameplay structure stretches to absurd lengths later on. There are plenty of times you'll walk across one end of the school to the other just to hear someone say two things and venture back. This happens too much, and considering the game can be completed in about an hour, that's just disappointing. The minigames get reused a lot, as well, so there's a whole lot of repetition going on. The only highlight later on is when Barbie unnecessarily plays with the gymnastic equipment when she could have walked pass them. She was in a hurry, too. Honestly, you'll have a better time playing with the real dolls and undressing them than wasting your time with The Barbie Diaries: High School Mystery.

Rating: 3/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (July 11, 2007)

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