Oh my God, I get to scope out this fabulous game that’s simply off the hook. No, I don’t suffer from personality disorder, but I probably have to go watch football for the rest of the day, and go hunt deer because that is the typical sentence I just listened to in Bratz: Rock Angelz for the PC.
The Bratz video game series is based on the popular dolls of the same name. The game is most likely targeted to select fans of the dolls; my guess would be young girls between the ages of 8 and 13. Bratz: Rock Anglez takes you through a rudimentary RPG style game filled with short mini-games to help the Bratz; Jade, Cloe, Sasha, and Yasmin get the better of the evil Tweevils (twin evil girls) and their boss, Burdine Maxwell of Your Thing fashion magazine.
The graphics are very simple and cartoon like. Most of the characters have big hair, big lips, and big eyes. The colors that are used are very vivid and pastel, mostly pinks, light blues, etc. The designers did a very good job of keeping it very basic, but detailed enough to have some quality behind it. The icons are very large and very self-explanatory by looking at them. One example would be the “boots icon” would indicate you have an option to walk.
Character animations are very fluid, and the characters’ hair bounces and sways when they walk or run. They could have done a better job with the mouth animations as it reminded me of the claymation show, Davey and Goliath where their mouths were either open or closed, but lacked the subtle variations in between. There isn’t a whole lot to say about the graphics other than that. There are no settings to tweak. The game doesn’t have advanced lighting, shadows, or anything else that would be deemed leading edge, but what it does have works well for the format and type of game that it is.
The nice part about that is that it doesn’t require a high-end video card, which makes it very suitable for a young girl’s computer, which in most cases probably isn’t a top of the line gaming box.
Bratz: Rock Angelz has a great soundtrack, and it feels as if you were in a dance club. Songs range from pop to rock, which is what you would expect for a game about a group of rock divas. Some of the lyrics were quite comical, and youâ€™ll hear songs about shopping and the young girl life.
Many of the sound effects are very accurate sounding such as the dull clack the Rock Anglez shoes and boots make as they run along different surfaces. There are many “game show” noises like “ding” and the like.
The voice talent and acting was very high quality. Wendie Malick plays the voice of Burdine Maxwell, the evil leader of Your Thing fashion magazine. Most of you may recognize Wendie from the comedy show, Just Shoot Me. She played ex-fashion model and dimwit, Nina Van Horn. Wendie Malick also did the voice for the Bratz TV series. The dialogue was well written and very typical of what you would hear from a popular, fashion minded young girl these days. However, the dialogue is very shallow to say the least.
The controls for Bratz: Rock Angelz are very simple and basic, which is perfect for the targeted audience that would be playing this game. The movement reminded me of how the Myst series was navigated.
You are presented with choices to make and you just click to initiate the movement. An example would be if you were in a hallway you would be presented with the choice to go down the hall further or go into one of the rooms that you could see, and the choice is indicated by the presence of a “boots” icon. If you move the cursor to a part of the screen that doesn’t have a choice you don’t see an icon.
Icons are also used to indicate if you find an object that you can pick up or interact with, show you that someone wants to exchange dialogue with you as well as a “rose” icon that lets you know precisely where to drag and drop an item you have found. As you can see the game is completely mouse driven and you are provided a limited set of options, which is why it reminded me of the Myst series.
Most of the other features like changing outfits, taking pictures (screenshots), and accessing the quest journal is just a mouse click away from the list of icons in the upper right of the screen. The inventory is a “purse” icon in the upper left, and all of these can be launched via keyboard short cuts if one so desired.
Bratz Rock Angelz is a mixture of elementary RPG and mini-games. You will be confronted with having to buy a soda as a favor for a fellow employee for instance. So you go to the vending machine, but you can’t purchase a soda. As you explore you find some spare change just lying in the street. Go back to the soda machine and feed it the money, viola, a soda. Take the soda back to the employee, and you get a reward for your quest. This is pretty basic as far as quests go, and is perfect for young girls. I do have an issue with what this possibly teaches young girls. No, you don’t have to work for money; you just find it on the ground. A more suitable quest would have been that she earned the money in some way. After all, she is working for a magazine.
You play mini-games in between doing these â€œquests.â€ One of the games has a scrolling wheel of ingredients, and you have to pick the correct order of items in order to make the perfect smoothie. You are provided “clues” as to which item to choose next and/or which button to hit on the blender. Another game involves choosing different outfits to bring on a trip in which you have to choose the correct pieces as they scroll by on a mechanical clothing rack.
There are many comments in the game that are pulled right from the societal issues that every young girl, or woman for that matter, faces. Burdine Maxwell asks you to get her lunch and you bring back a fast food burger. When she sees the burger she cries out, “Carbs!” “What, are you trying to kill me?â€ “I only eat greens!” You get the picture. This is not the best message we want to send to young girls whom are already feeling huge pressures to be thin and fit. Sure itâ€™s important to be healthy, but the message was more about vanity than overall health.
You are presented with a few more games and features that are “unlocked” after you beat the game. You access them via the main menu and include your screen shot library, a card game, and the ability to jump to different parts of the game.
The game is designed for younger less experienced gamers, but I was able to beat the game and try out the secrets area card game in exactly 67 minutes, and I was taking my time! The game is not that expensive for the PC, as I have seen it on the Internet for $19.99 or less. Nonetheless, this game would probably be a good buy for girls that are fans of the Bratz dolls or show, or maybe want it to add to their Bratz collection.
The game would be a small challenge for 8 to 10 year olds, and more of an “entertainment value” for girls older than that. The game may not send the appropriate message to young girls either, but that is up to your judgment as a parent. The game is of high quality, and I didn’t have any issues while playing it, but it lacks content.
The game does offer six user slots, which is really nice for families with multiple girls of the same age group, and helps to promote sharing.
Bratz Rock Angelz offers a fun yet very short and basic game about shopping, fashion, and smoothies. It felt more like you were playing out a TV episode that had a few mini-games mixed in. The game was created well, but is in desperate need of more content as the game feels as shallow as most of the themes the game is based on.
It may be fun to pretend or enjoy the Bratz on your computer as a young girl, but I am not sure parents will agree with the messages this game sends. That isn’t really the game designers fault as they are just feeding off the original Bratz creation, but that is a soapbox not meant for this article.