Review by Merv Hart
Girl gamers rejoice, for another software company has noticed that lots of computer game players are in fact young and female, and Rugrats: Totally Angelica is now out on the shelves to tickle your fancy. The game revolves around one of the Rugrats stars, Angelica Pickles, and the aim of the game is to complete sub-games, which in turn reward you with a prize of some new shoes, some earrings, make up, or a funky pair of trousers, etc. Armed with your new stylish items, you can then go on a virtual fashion shoot down a catwalk, for your Rugrats friends to rate you out of ten - get enough points and you can progress to the next level.
It doesn't sound too exciting, does it? The last time I remember a game along these lines was in the mid nineties: the appalling Barbie game, which failed to hook the imagination of girl gamers, as it was patronising, too clichéd, and a bit rubbish overall. With a similar expectation firmly lodged in my presumptuous mind, I asked my girlfriend if she'd help review the game for me.
Imagine my surprise when I, a 24yr old male into beat 'em ups and first person perspective shoot 'em ups, sat down and assumed the role of Angelica for a couple of hours, and found myself hooked my girlfriend and I squabbled to play the different sub-games - we both highly desired completing the challenge to earn that funky new green and purple hat that would finish off her spotty green and purple trousers and top ensemble.
The sub-games can be extremely easy: 'Kimi's follow the leader' requires you to press the X button to lift your bottle, or the down arrow to lift your doll. You've got to lift your bottle/doll when Kimi does, for five times. No problem! There are harder ones though: guiding a blindfolded Tommy towards a Piñata he has to break is quite an arduous task as he is constantly dizzy but they are all quite completable by kids, the harder one's may take some perseverance though.
The graphics are big and bold - they're very basic and will win no prizes, but they are simple for kids to distinguish what's going on. The sound again is fully functional, but you won't catch yourself humming it later on.
It's difficult to actually decide why this was such a great game to play - there are only a few sub-games, and you have to play some of them over and over and over again to get the full range of fashion accessory prizes, needed to get a good bevy of points necessary to advance a level. It's just that this game is so much fun to play - it reminds you of the retro era - simple games you can pick up and play, which are totally addictive. It's also educational - kids playing this will need to learn their left from right, they'll have their reflexes tested, their memory, and most importantly, they'll need to develop a keen fashion sense to advance through the game! Beware that your 5 year old little girl doesn't start wearing gaudy lipstick and chandelier earrings after a Rugrats computer game session.
It only took me 3 days to get to the last level of this game, but remember that I already have keen reflexes, a good sense of left and right, and my fashion sense is supreme. Kids between 3 and 10 should have loads of fun with Rugrats: Totally Angelica for quite a while and their mums/dads/siblings, etc., will have just as much fun helping them.Overall score: 8 out of 10
Recommended Price: £19.99
Available: NowBuy Rugrats: Totally Angelica for the PSone from Amazon