Bratz Ponyz
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2007-08-03 Nintendo DS Action/Adventure E (Everyone) The Game Factory

Bratz Ponyz was one of the games we got to try out during our meeting at The Game Factory. It's a fact that I really don't like the Bratz dolls nor their fashion tendencies one bit, but the first glimpse of this game took me back to the days when I used to play with My Little Pony toys.

Bratz Ponyz is mainly aimed at girls aged 6 to 10. It's a very simple game that combines adventure and exploration with mini-games and plenty of collectible items.

The world map is similar to what you would see in an old-school RPG, birdseye view of the towns, lots of little details in the terrain and houses. You can pick from one of the four available ponies. Then you simply move your character around by touching the touch screen in the direction you want to go.

The continent is fairly big, composed of five archipelagos, where your Pony travels by balloon or by steamboat. To actually travel, you either blow on the mic to move the balloon, or draw circles on the steamboat wheel to propel it. The balloon and boat rides have hearts that you can collect along the way, but once you've caught them all, you can just let your transportation take you and not worry about making the boat or balloon move.

The actual game consists of an adventure type of gameplay, where you do little missions in the workshops. There are workshops for makeup, hair, jewelry and tatoos. By completing an activity in one of the workshops you are awarded hearts and you win rewards to customize your pony with. Sometimes, to access the workshop you will need to find an item first, but checking your agenda will tell you where to go. It's just a matter of travelling and coming back to town to do the activities.

So what are these activities? Well, they all involve taking care of your pony or making it prettier. In the hair salon, you brush, wash, dry and dye the pony's hair. The jewelry shop has you making bead necklaces. The tatoo parlor gives you a drawing and coloring task, while in the makeup workshop you can wash your pony's face and apply some eyeshadow or eyeliner.

Every time you successfully complete a task, you get a new item in your inventory. Some of them are just for the sake of collecting (such as feathers and beads), others you can use to embellish your pony, such as the tatoos and necklaces you make.

Other collectibles can be placed in your house. At the end of each round of tasks in your agenda, you must find the meteorite somewhere in one of the islands. Each meteorite contains a marble that unlocks a piece of furniture in your pony's house. But if you explore the island enough, you will also find certain spots with cameras that take a picture to hang in your walls.

There is also a Town Hall that you can visit and replay any of the activities you've done before, to try and beat your previous score. And right next to it, there is a Playground, which offers some of the mini-games with multiplayer options.

Overall, this is a cute game for girls. The sprites are adorable and the ponyz animate well (love the bouncy tail), the backgrounds are colorful and the activities are easy enough for little girls to participate in, although I still don't care much for the focus on hair and makeup that seems to be the Bratz trademark. There is plenty to do and collect in the game, but unfortunately, I think that all the running around in the islands and repetitive boat and balloon trips might discourage some less patient players.

Special thanks to Damien Sarrazin and The Game Factory for providing a copy of this title.