Barbie Dreamhouse Party

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Barbie Dreamhouse Party Game Poster Image
Short, tedious party game designed to promote Barbie dolls.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Barbie Dreamhouse Party wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

Both the action and the narrative drive home the idea that fashion and appearance are of paramount importance. The doll-like characters' fantastical proportions promote an unrealistic ideal for a young woman's body.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters in this game occasionally exhibit the characteristics of good friends, but most of the time they're simply focused on fashion, looking good, and trying to win whatever game they happen to be engaged in. Artifical intelligence-controlled dolls can -- and often do -- stop what they're doing in the middle of an activity to change their clothing and accessories. The player's character can, too.

Ease of Play

The third-person movement controls are simple. Computer-controlled competitors aren't particularly skilled, though they may prove challenging for younger players in some mini-games.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

This game is essentially a promotion for Barbie dolls and related toys. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Barbie Dreamhouse Party is a small collection of mini-games starring Mattel's Barbie and a few of her friends. There's no violence or bad language in any of the activities, but the doll-like characters in the game are extremely shallow of personality, seemingly concerned solely with their appearance, clothing, make-up, and accessories. What's more, the game is clearly engineered as a promotion for the Barbie brand, advertising not just dolls like Barbie and Ken but also specific products, like Barbie's Dreamhouse doll house and her big toy styling heads.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byallana larissa arauj July 2, 2014
Kid, 8 years old February 9, 2014

Okay

Its okay for 10 and under but older tht kinda creepy but if u like it be your self. Dont see me as saying mean things to all of u tht read this.

What's it about?

BARBIE DREAMHOUSE PARTY is a collection of mini-games starring a group of dolls visiting Barbie at her home. Things take a turn for the bizarre when one of Barbie's friends accidentally sets off the home security system, locking the friends behind steel shutters. The house's odd Artificial Intelligence -- a mechanical eye named \"Closet\" perched on a reticulating arm -- then forces the girls to engage in nine mini-games in order to unlock the doors between rooms, one by one. Barbie and her friends need to first run around each room, searching under cushions and behind lamps for a series of objects -- such as make-up bags -- that need to be placed on four pedestals, which will trigger the start of a game. These games are generally simple timed tasks in which players need to repeat an action over and over again in an effort to successfully complete it more times than their opponents. Kids may need to rub back and forth on the GamePad screen to apply make-up to a giant doll head, select items of clothing or accessories as directed by Closet, run around a room with a tray to collect wrapped gifts falling from the sky, or strike specific runway poses. Up to three friends can join the primary player.

Is it any good?

Barbie Dreamhouse Party's extremely simple mini-games are clearly targeted at young girls, which is a little disturbing given the emphasis they place on appearance, clothes, make-up, jewelry, and feminine movement. Also concerning are the dolls' shallow interests and concerns, which center around things like boyfriends, material items, and smudged make-up.

The play, meanwhile, does little to make a parent want to overlook these thematic issues. Tapping a button to search cushions and lamps for stage lights and jewelry boxes is the definition of tedious, and the mini-games are exercises in repetition. The most entertaining part of the game may be a pair of short unlockable videos which relate brief but occasionally witty stories set in Barbie's house, including one in which Ken shows off and explains all of the improvements he's made to Barbie's wardrobe (few of which actually work). But a couple of funny videos don't justify the game's exorbitant $40 price tag. This is one your daughter can safely skip.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dolls. What sort of dolls do you like to play with? What do you think of Barbie dolls? Have you ever compared how different kinds of dolls look next to one another? What did you notice?

  • Families can also discuss making wise shopping decisions. Some games based on toys and movies have great ideas and are fun to play, while others seem to exist only to help promote what originally inspired them. How can you tell the difference between good games based on licensed products and bad?

  • Talk about body image and how it is portrayed in this game.

Game details

Themes & Topics

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