Rugrats: Totally Angelica – Game Boy Color
Platform: Game Boy Color
Developer: Art Co., Ltd
Release Date: May 5th, 2000
Nerd Rating: 2.5 out of 10!
I want you to take a second to think about your favorite TV show, and then I want you to think about the most insufferable antagonist in the entire show. Now I would like you to imagine a game focused solely around that character, and no, it is not about killing or torturing them. Does that sound fun to you? No? Well, apparently THQ never got the memo. In their search to create a game that would attract a female audience, THQ decided to publish Rugrats: Totally Angelica, a game about, you guessed it, Angelica Pickles.
Rugrats: Totally Angelica takes place in a mall full of mini-games, in which your goal is to collect outfits and win fashion shows. In order to unlock different outfits, you had to play the mini-games that were on the floor that you were on (or trade outfits with your friends via system link). If you successfully completed a fashion show than you would unlock the next floor of the mall. There is a total of five floors, each with three mini-games on them.
Overall, the game doesn’t sound so bad at the moment, right? In fact, this could even be pretty fun if it was similar to that of Mario Party. I suppose now is the perfect time to discuss the meat of the game; the mini-games themselves. As I said before, there is a total of five floors with three mini-games each, so that means there are fifteen mini-games, right? Wrong. Sadly, the developers didn’t develop enough mini-games for each floor, so they ended up repeating quite a bit.
The first mini-game is Phil’s Fashions, which is your standard catch game, similar to the Game & Watch title Oil Panic. Your goal is to move Angelica left and right in order to catch cookies that are being thrown. This mini-game is extremely simple, and is found on the first floor and the third floor. Oddly enough however, when you get to the third floor, Phil’s Fashions is a completely different mini-game! On the third floor, Phil’s Fashions is a mini-game where you play as Phil and Lil and attempt to catch bugs (and yes, I mean attempt.) This mini-game is infuriatingly broken, and the controls are terrible (even though they consist of one button and the d-pad). First you take control of Phil and you harvest plants from the ground, after which you immediately take control of Lil and attempt to catch the bug that Phil released. This would be well and fine except for the fact that there is a delay between when you press the action button (in this case, A) and when your character actually does the action. There are even some times when pressing the action button does nothing at all. Sadly, I can’t even fail this game on purpose because there is no time limit either.
The second mini-game that you will come across is Susie’s Shoes, which is also known as Fluffy’s Pinball Maze upon actually entering the mini-game. Fluffy’s Pinball Maze is a “maze” in name only as it is literally impossible to make a mistake. The ball is actually guided by itself and you are only required to click a button when you pass a spring to push the ball the opposite way. This is by far the most annoying mini-game in the entire game since it takes a total of three minutes without any errors, and there are three minutes remaining on the clock in case you make a “mistake.” The worst part about Fluffy’s Pinball Maze is that it is required on four out of the five floors and it is exactly the same on each one.
The third mini-game that you come across is Lil’s Lipsticks, which is a puzzle where you must slide the pieces into the correct places. This mini-game most likely had the most potential in the entire game, but the potential is completely lost thanks to a wonky AI. The puzzle will usually start off so badly that the game considers it too hard or impossible and re-aligns itself, however, when it re-aligns itself, it pretty much completes the entire puzzle except for one final piece. Thanks to the re-alignment, the mini-game can almost always be completed in only one move by the player. Lil’s Lipsticks can be found on floor one and floor three.
The next mini-game that you will be forced to play is Chuckie’s Chunky Jewelry, which is a game where you have to remember the colors in the order that they appear on the screen. This mini-game is surprisingly not broken, though I wouldn’t call it fun. Chuckie’s Chunky Jewelry can be found on floor two and floor four. On four floor, Chuckie’s Chunky Jewelry does get slightly harder by adding one more color to the sequence, but other than that, there is no change.
Did you play the memory card game as a child? If you enjoyed it, you’re in luck with this next mini-game, which is called Tommy’s Trims. Tommy’s Trims is simply a copy of memory, but they even managed to screw that up. In Tommy’s Trims, the AI will flip two cards, and if they match, you must press A. This sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it is very simple, when it actually works. The AI will flip the same two cards for the majority of the time causing this mini-game to take way longer than it has any right to take. Tommy’s Trim is forced upon you on floor two and floor four.
After playing each of these mini-games over and over (since it is impossible to finish a floor after playing each mini-game only once), you will then reach floor five. While floor five does contain three games, only one matters, which is Fantasy World. Fantasy World is a side-scroller where you are riding a carousel horse through the air in an attempt to collect six pieces of a bridge to help you enter the magical castle at the end (this makes literally no sense. What the hell am I playing?). This mini-game is agonizingly frustrating due to obstacles which consist of babies. These babies sole existence is to send you flying quite a distance in the opposite direction. This mini-game also consists of a few puzzles, which shows that they actually took the time to work on this one. As if annoying babies weren’t enough, the controls of Fantasy World are dreadful in their own right.
Upon completing floor five, you are awarded a crappy crown that gives you no point boost, and then you realize that the game doesn’t save anyway and (hopefully) throw the game in the trash where it belongs. Art Co., Ltd somehow managed to make Rugrats: Totally Angelica crappier than the idea it was based on (seriously, who wants to play as the antagonist that nobody liked?), and THQ should be ashamed that they ever published this atrocity of a video game. I do not recommend this game to anybody, and I will not be keeping my copy (free game boy color game on the side of the road!).
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