Barbie: Vacation Adventure

A few years ago, a new TV network started that was going to show programming that was supposed to be appealing to strong, intelligent, independent women. They soon had to retool their format, however, as they quickly learned that those kind of women have better things to do than sit around and watch TV networks that pander to them. Barbie Vacation Adventure suffers from a similar problem – it’s made for little girls who like Barbie, but little girls who like Barbie already know how to send their doll on imaginary adventures without the aid of an atrocious video game.

The game consists of five areas that represent different places that Barbie can go on her vacation. Her cross-country trek takes her to exciting and fun places such as Wyoming, California, Florida, Texas and, for some reason, Iowa. Anyway, each location has a few different mini-games to try out that are themed around the location. For example, in Florida you scuba dive, in Wyoming you camp in Yellowstone Park, and in Iowa you grow corn and screw up the primary elections for the rest of the nation.

The majority of the mini-games are rudimentary point-and-click affairs, in which you sloooooowly move a cursor around the screen and press buttons. These barely qualify as interactive, to the point that you would probably have had to have suffered some kind of severe head trauma to find them entertaining. Honestly though, you can’t really blame the people who made the game for that. Brain damage is a pretty safe assumption to make about someone who would buy a game about Barbie going on vacation.

Graphically, BVA features so much pink, light blue and pastel green that you’ll probably wonder if you didn’t accidentally connect your Genesis to an old CGA monitor.Controls are another source of frustration – A real Barbie doll doesn’t bend at the knees, elbows, or waist. Barbie the game character recreates this lack of mobility rather accurately.

We do have to give Barbie credit for one thing, though – she has amazing fashion sense. Before every stage, you can choose the colors of her outfit. However, no matter what garish color combinations you attempt to give her, none of her outfits ever seem to clash. It’s uncanny. Don’t get me wrong – she still dresses up like an insane cowgirl hooker for some levels, but at least she’s a cowgirl hooker whose hat will always match her thigh boots.

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