For the Game Girl?...
That was the inscription that caught my attention when I first saw the box-art for this Rugrats game. How clever
of Angelica, I thought, whose mischievous addition of "girl" to the word "GameBoy" summed-up
nicely what others of my ilk had been trying to put across for many years now but with little success i.e. GameBoy
and video games are no longer just for boys.
Yup, that's right, Boys, shocking isn't it? That Girls are now starting to figure as an important demographic in
the video games industry. So all you Boys had better get use to it, and expect more "Just For Girl" games
on the GameBoy now and in the future. By the way, this review is for girls only, so if you're a boy, please go
away now ;)
For those that don't know, Angelica is a character in Nickelodeon's #1 rated kid's animated television show. And
"Rugrats: Totally Angelica", is THQs first game for the Color GameBoy that's targeted solely at girls.
In the game, players assume the role of the precocious Angelica Pickles, as she makes her way through various mini-games
to win items of clothing and fashion accessories for a fashion show starring none other than the little rascal
There's 10 levels of non-linear game play in "Rugrats: Totally Angelica", and even an electronic diary
mode feature where you can store your friend's names and phone numbers. If you have a friend with the same game,
you can even send and receive secret messages via infrared. Neat, huh?
Gameplay, Levels & Controls
Angelica starts off in a shopping mall. You, as Angelica, walk through the
mall and shop in Phil's Fashions, Suzie's Shoes and Lil's Lipstick. In each store is a mini game where you can
choose to play and win prizes.
Want clothes? Then go to Phil's Fashion where there's Grandpa's Cookie Catch for Angelica to try and bag as many
cookies as she can while they pop-out from the toasters (kinda looks like a toilet cistern to me... heh! heh!).
Suzie's Shoes has lots of attractive footwear for free if you make it through Fluffy's Pinball Maze by bouncing
a ball of yarn through a maze of springs within 350 seconds.
And Lil's Lipstick shop has Cynthia's Shuffle Puzzle. This puzzle gives you 200 moves in which you must complete
the picture. Don't worry, it's really quite easy and in no time, you'll have a bunch of stuff for your very own
When you think you've gathered enough articles of clothing and fashion accessories to go on show, head right (literally)
to the catwalk. There, 6 Rugrats who make up the panel of judges will award you points based on creativity and
color sense. Collect 25 points and advance to the next shopping level where there is Chuckie's Chunky Jewelry and
Tommy's Trims for you to explore.
Chucky's Color Match game is my favorite. It's a simple game like Simon where you have to repeat the color sequence
played by Chucky on his organ. Match 2 rows and get a ring of your choice.
Tommy's Trims is the place for weird and wonderful hairdos. All you have to do this time is match up character
cards in pairs. 4 wins gets you a hair makeover.
The last of the 6 mini-games, and probably the cutest of all is Phil N' Lil's Bug Hunt. In this game, one of the
adorable twins will bounce on pumpkins, pull out carrots and shrubs and when a bug or caterpillar pops out from
the ground, the other will catch it. It's a game of co-operation, but since they are twins, you'd expect co-operation
to come naturally. Still, it's a fun game that will have you smiling.
In the game, an elevator is used to take Angelica to each level of the shopping mall. Each level, however, can
only be accessed with sufficient points which can be attained only at the Fashion Show. 25 points gets you to level
1, 75 points to level 2, 150 for level 3 and so on. But since there's only 6 mini-games in this cart, you can expect
to find yourself playing the same games the higher up you go. Not much of an incentive, I guess, and boredom will
eventually set-in once you discover that there is nothing new to do or discover.
A word of caution here. Totally Angelica uses a password game save system which is terribly confusing. Instead
of regular numbers or letters, the programers have decided to use arcane strings of numbers, letters and icons
for you to remember or jot down. Okay, so girls are blessed with good memory, but the programmers must think that
ours is almost god-like. Not only are there too many figures and characters to remember, you'll also have to key-in
all of it manually and tediously from a small on-screen keyboard.
Well, aside from the horrible password system and simplistic game play,
I found "Rugrats - Totally Angelica", fun and humorous. Although the concept of the game is rather stereotypical
(shopping, clothes and fashion isn't the only thing that girls like, you know), the premise is cute and enjoyable,
and will give any young girl gamer a good time, more so if they are fans of the Rugrats cartoon.
Also, the use of infrared for the fashion transfer routine and secret messages is ingenious, and the concept people
at THQ should be commended. I suggest you try this feature out as soon as you find a girlfriend with the same game.
Trust me, it will drive the boys crazy, since they won't be able to decipher what secret messages you've passed
So, although "Barbie's Ocean Discovery" is also a girl game, it
isn't a title that I would play on my GameBoy. To me, Barbie dolls are such sissy things, and if I'm not mistaken,
girl gamers aren't sissies. "Rugrats: Totally Angelica" however, is cute and funny, and for the young
girl gamer, cute and funny is way better than pink and sissy. Agree?