Barbie Mermaid Adventure CD-ROM, the newest Barbie title, is loaded with purple and pink graphics and is sugary sweet, but it is not very challenging for girls above six years of age. And while it is fun to see Barbie depicted as a mermaid, the games and activities presented in the software are ho-hum at best.
Girls will find routine mazes, a game of Pong, a match-the-pattern game, and an uninspired logic activity about rocking baby cuddle fish to sleep. They will collect gems and shells to decorate jewelry and a performance stage. They can arrange a song by placing cute instrument-wielding marine animals in an order that they find pleasing. That’s it.
These activities are presented within a simple story format where Barbie Mermaid is hosting a magical celebration. Unfortunately, the glimmering rainbow shell that was to provide the lighting for the celebration has faded. Players help Barbie explore three underwater areas to find the three magical dolphins who can relight the rainbow shell.
While the activities do increase in difficulty the more they are played, they are never very challenging, and therefore are most appropriate for girls ages 4 and 5.
Unlike the recent Barbie Horse Adventures Mystery Ride CD-ROM, which radiated innovative programming, Barbie Mermaid Adventures CD-ROM belongs in the mundane bin of girls’ software.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.