As a secret agent, Barbie is on a mission to stop the creation of clothing that makes the wearer invisible—an accessory that every thief in the world would want. Players direct Barbie’s actions as she jet-sets to Paris, Tokyo, Egypt, Rio de Janeiro, and New York City to solve a series of inter-related mini-missions. Girls help Barbie search for clues, talk to people, and solve puzzles. Players help Barbie get through tough situations by selecting from an array of high-tech spy gadgets including pink-vision glasses that highlight special codes and patterns, and a compact that disperses a special powder that distracts guards.
To get started, players explore three tutorials which teach them how to make Barbie move in three Secret Agent Modes: Adventure, Stealth, and Action. In Adventure mode, players move Barbie by using the arrow keys. They also have access to her special spy gadgets. In the Action Mode, players learn how to make Barbie jump so that she can leap across rooftops or floating platforms. She even has a wrist glider that she engages when she needs to reach high places. In Stealth mode, Barbie can tumble under lasers, and crouch behind objects.
Barbie is aided in this mission by her friends who are located on a special mission control plane. Becky, a friend in a wheelchair, is Barbie’s link to control center.
When Barbie visits a location, she must first dress for the occasion. In Paris, players select her ballroom attire. In Egypt, Tokyo, and Rio, players choose from native dress so that Barbie can blend in. However, whenever she needs to, Barbie can change into “sleuth-wear” and thus trigger her special abilities including the jump and tumble moves.
This spy adventure is complicated, exciting, and challenges girls to think logically. Not only must they explore exotic locations and piece together information, but they must also solve numerous puzzles and codes. This software takes hours to solve and was greatly enjoyed by testers.
There is one bothersome side to this otherwise compelling girl software. Barbie’s sleuthing outfits are so tight and revealing that they are inappropriately provocative for the targeted audience of young girls ages 6 and up.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.