Barbie Pet Rescue – PC
Developer: Mattel Interactive
Publisher: Barbie Software
Release Date (NA): August 25, 2000
Nerd Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Do you like animals? Do you like Barbie? Do you like rescuing animals with Barbie in your fantasies? Well, look no further, as Mattel Interactive and Barbie Software have heard and answered your prayers of helping animals with an ill-proportioned plastic human!
Introducing Barbie Pet Rescue! Team up with Barbie as you set out to rescue kittens, puppies, turtles, horses, monkeys, and more! Populate Barbie’s Rescue Center and play with your rescued pets! You go out on these “rescue” mission with Barbie to pick up some “helpless” animals, and every time you bring a different animal to the rescue center, you get a “Paws and Purrs Award” for being such a great volunteer.
I picked this game up from a thrift store for 99 cents. Looking at the CD-ROM’s case made me feel a wave of nostalgia. I was only about seven when the game was new. All I remembered up until now was what the game is about, so I was excited to relive a bit of my childhood.
I had to learn the hard way that a computer that runs Windows 8 will not run a CD-ROM such as this. Don’t believe anything the computer says when it gives you compatibility mode options. It still won’t work. Instead, install the game on something that will understand; a Windows 7 computer/laptop. The CD-ROM said it was compatible with Windows 95 and Windows 98, but Windows 7 can actually understand it. Even then though, I had to re-install it like, three more times just to make it run normally.
Now, seeing as I had not played the game in over 14 years, I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as graphics go. I had forgotten just how smooth the graphics are in this game. I have to say, for a Barbie game, they did exceedingly well, graphic-wise. But the sounds were a bit iffy. I mean, sure, Barbie and Stacy’s voices make you want to rip your ears off, but us girls are all used to that overly happy tone they’ve always had. However, if Barbie is saying something to you, and you accidentally mouse over an interactive icon, Barbie’s voice starts to do this overlapping thing, where she has two dialogues going off at once.
Upon starting Barbie Pet Rescue, I was quickly given my first mission: save a turtle that got lost. Apparently, that qualifies as an emergency, so Barbie and I set out to find the turtle. We go to this place where the turtle is supposed to be. Barbie then tells me that, “if a bigger animal finds her before we do, there would be trouble!” So it was up to me? Not three steps from Barbie, the turtle was there. But damn does Barbie ever walk slowly! She took an unnecessarily long time to take 3 freaking steps!
I was forced to clean the beast and give it a name back at the rescue center. I couldn’t skip it or anything. So I took more pictures. I named the turtle Shamrock… Funny… All the animals appeared to be female… The kitten, the puppy, the turtle, the hamster, and the bunny… All female… I didn’t stick around to play the whole game through, however. It got to be too boring too quick. My next mission was to save some dog, but I was too bored to do the mission.
Unfortunately, Barbie Pet Rescue has little replay value. The missions have a feel of ‘same thing, different place’ as you “rescue” an animal, whatever it is, you clean it, you name it, you give it water, and then you’re forced on to the next animal. Some missions were even repeated. Missions I had already done, I had to do them again. It’s like the developers set the mission order to ‘random.’
Did I mention that this game is feminist? Every single character in Barbie Pet Rescue is female! The animals are female! The NPCs are female! Even non-featured characters are female! What’s that saying to the children, ages 5-8, that it’s intended for? The only message I got is that Barbie must actually live in the land of the Amazons… Although, the game doesn’t make clear where it takes place. The only clue I got was Green Arbor Park.
All in all, Barbie Pet Rescue is an okay game… aside from the ‘everything is pink’ problem, repetitiveness, and the absurd feminism in the game, it’s okay. Besides, who can say no to this adorable ball of virtual fluff?
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