The Barbie Diaries: High School Mystery (GBA)

Common Sense Media says

Not Barbie's best; play the PC game instead.

Age

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Barbie takes the lead on solving a mystery. Her friends are culturally diverse.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is based on The Barbie Diaries movie and on the Barbie doll franchise.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Barbie game is easy and short. The only negative content is the decision by the high school staff to "not involve the authorities" in the investigation of a theft of items from a school. Another thing for parents to consider is the age-compression issue. Wouldn't it make more sense if this game for tweens was set in a middle school instead of a high school?

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

THE BARBIE DIARIES: HIGH SCHOOL MYSTERY GBA is based on The Barbie Diaries movie, which stars Barbie as a high schooler contending with the typical high school crowds: the jocks, queen bees, and social outcasts. In the movie, Barbie plays guitar and sings in a girl rock-'n'-roll band. In this game, Barbie and her buddies are embroiled in a mystery: Items slated for a charity auction have disappeared. They're actually stolen, but for some reason the thief has placed them all around the school as a sort of prank, and begins leaving clues for Barbie.

After the initial story lead-in, players begin as Barbie in this adventure-style game. Barbie explores the high school, picks up clues, and plays several Mini games along the way. Once she's found all the auction items, it's time for the denouement!

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

At first glance, this appears to be a promising game for young girls, as it stars Barbie in a high school setting with a mystery to solve and Mini games to break up the adventure along the way. But the initial promise never quite delivers and the game never rises above the ordinary. It's basically an adventure, but Barbie does very little sleuthing. There are lots of characters standing around, but there is no meaningful interaction; Barbie collects clues, but she doesn't do much with them.

Several interactive Mini games are included in the adventure, but for some reason most are not available in the Mini game mode for separate play later. These Mini games range from simple arcade types to critical-thinking games, but most aren't very fun. The game is very short and can be completed in one sitting of a few hours. The story itself is pretty unimaginative, and there's a sense of "so what?" to it all.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of honesty and responsibility when laws are broken, and appropriate methods for dealing with these situations. Since the thief claims to have "hidden" the missing items instead of "stealing" them, families can talk about whether this situation is stealing. Families can also talk about consulting with people in authority -- what is their role and when should they be consulted?

Game details

Platforms:Game Boy Advance
Price:$20
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Activision
Release date:October 10, 2006
Genre:Girl
ESRB rating:E for everyone (Game Boy Advance)

This review of The Barbie Diaries: High School Mystery (GBA) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byshena2824 October 2, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
how do u play it?
What other families should know
Educational value
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written byfungurl16 May 31, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

I luv this game!

This game was uh-mazing! It had so many fun things to do. You can go lots of places to! The school store, AV room, shop class, and tons more! Even the school roof (it has and awsome view)! However, I found the game surprisenly short. I finished it an hour. In the game, the neighboring school's charity auction items are stolen and it's Barbie's mission to get them back. It's exciting and very captivating, totally enjoyable. I would buy this game in a split second.
Kid, 12 years old May 31, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

This game rocks

This game rocks! I played it over, and over again! There's tons of exciting mini-games to play, and lots of places to explore. Even though you only can go in the school grounds, you can go anywhere from the teacher's bathrooms, to the school store, to shop class (that's shop as in wood)! I would recomend this game to anyone of all ages!

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