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Barney’s Hide and Seek Game – Sega Genesis

Barney’s Hide and Seek Game – Sega Genesis

47070_frontPlatform:  Sega Genesis

Developer: Realtime Associates

Publisher: Sega

Release date: June 1, 1993

Genre: Platformer

Nerd Rating: 3 out of 10

Note: This review is based on an emulated playthrough of the game.

Today’s question of the day is: how the hell did I wind up playing a Barney game for the Genesis?

Simple, my brother’s fiance came to visit the other day and we sat around playing through emulated Genesis games on my computer. After she kicked my ass in just about every fighting game on the Genesis, including Shaq Fu, we stumbled upon this game, Barney’s Hide and Seek Game, and decided to try it just for the fun of it. And as it turns out, this game was so horribly bad that I streamed the whole thing on Twitch and decided to write up a review on it.

Adults need help with this game too, y'know.

Adults need help with this game too, y’know.

Let’s start with the goal of Barney’s Hide and Seek Game, and it’s kind of a given here, the player controls Barney as he plays hide-and-seek with his friends. Essentially, all you have to do is lead Barney around four different worlds to find his five friends who are hiding in numerous spots. In addition to that, Barney can also find five presents throughout each level and a big green present that puts on a fireworks show. The point of the big green presents isn’t actually explained at any point in the game, but from the ending, it seems to me that the presents are actually for Barney’s five friends. Don’t worry though, should you not find one of Barney’s friends or a present for them throughout the level, you still will win the game.

Barney has to strangle each child upon finding them.

Barney has to strangle each child upon finding them.

Actually, it’s possible to not even touch the controller upon booting up the game and still win the entire game. I’m not even joking. The second time I decided to replay it, I took a bathroom break at the start screen and when I returned, Barney was already making his way through the third level. Clearly, Barney will wait for no man when it comes to his games. The same goes for even not touching any controls on the game for a while, Barney will simply walk to the end of the level without your help. For a kid’s game this auto-finish feature, while probably created with the best of intentions, was pretty poorly implemented, as having Barney start walking away in the middle of a thought can get really frustrating really fast.

If the controls weren't awful, I could actually reunite these starfish.

If the controls weren’t awful, I could actually reunite these starfish.

In addition to Barney being incredibly impatient throughout the game, controlling him is a nightmare. Once again, the developers went the route of over-simplifying the game’s controls so that as long as you press something, Barney will act. What I mean specifically, is that the game has the all-consuming action button mapped to every button on the controller except for the right and left directional pad buttons. Once again, while it was made with good intentions, not mapping buttons for different actions makes it rather annoying to explore. For example, if Barney is standing near a block that you can jump on and an animal he can interact with, you have to actually position Barney closer to whatever you want him to interact with in order for him to maybe do it. Most of the time, Barney’s just blowing kisses to everything when you press any button, which doesn’t help.

Although this game is considered a platformer, the controls and rules of the game are too highly restrictive to allow for much fun at all. For example, Barney can travel between flying platforms via floating clouds. However, in order to board these clouds Barney has to wait at the edge of the platform for the cloud to touch it. Otherwise, Barney will stop and hold up a stop sign. The same goes for when Barney is on a floating platform in the water, if he isn’t next to the land he will not move. Therefore, it is impossible for Barney to fall to his death or in any way get harmed during the game. He will however, jump from blocks or low cliffs, but not anything that would require a balloon to get up to. That of course means that in order to actually platform, the player has to patiently wait for the slow moving balloons and platforms to reach Barney to actually explore. And at least half of the children like to hide in the skies.

I wish it were a joke.

I wish it were a joke.

Although the game is painfully slow, it’s still possible to complete Barney’s Hide and Seek Game with all children and presents found, including the bonus green gift, in about thirty-six minutes. I’m beginning to think that’s the reason why Barney walks at the speed of shit, to make a short game feel longer. I could go on and on about the terrible animations, the crappy quality of the audio, obnoxious controls, and stages which come off as being overly-designed, but I’ll spare everyone from it.

Honestly, I think everyone should take a crack at this game at least once just because it’s incredibly bad. However, even as a game marketed for children, I still can’t overlook the terrible qualities of this game. I’ve played tons of games aimed at children throughout my life, and simply stating that it’s a children’s game does not make it exempt from criticism. Really, I can’t believe this is supposed to be the only Barney video game and that such a popular children’s show would allow for such crap.

And I loved Barney and Friends.

Written by Doc Croc

Doc Croc aka Kelly is Nerd Bacon’s Editor-in-Chief and resident narcoleptic. In the off-chance she isn’t already asleep, you can find her here at the Bacon!


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  1. AbyssalOblivion
    AbyssalOblivion says:

    Funny enough, I actually had this game as a young kid. We went to, I think it was FunCo at the time and picked up a bunch of Genesis games for my, at the time, 4 year old little brother, one of which was this one. Can’t say that I remember 4 year old Jacob or 7 year old me being very entertained with it.

  2. A total missed opportunity. Barney could have made for a great game. Could have been a mission based title where you complete different tasks to learn the moral of each episode but nooooooo. Every licensed game had to be a platformer.


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