1. Computing

Polly Pocket - Super Splash Island Review - Game Boy Advance

Bad Password Bugs Ruin a Perfectly Good Day at the Waterpark

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

By

Polly Pocket - Super Splash Island Review - Game Boy Advance
Packshot © DSI Games
Polly Pocket dates back to 1983 when Chris Wiggs decided to build a new toy for his daughter by building a tiny dollhouse inside a makeup powder compact. Chris licensed out his toy idea and today Polly Pocket has become Mattel's second largest girls' brand after Barbie. Since the front runner, Barbie, has already had a number of games based on her, it's only fitting that Polly finally get's the chance. What could be more appropriate than to release her first game on the only system that can fit in your pocket, the Game Boy Advance?

The Good

  • Fun mini-games that bring Super Splash Island to life.
  • Intuitive controls make it easy to just pick up and play.

The Bad

  • Password saves are filled with bugs and don't always work.
  • Passwords do not save tickets that unlock the waterslide mini-game.
  • Not enough mini-games to justify the time it takes to acquire enough tickets to unlock the full waterslide.

The Story

Polly Pocket is the ninth caller to the DJ Boogie D Radio Show, and won 6 tickets for her and her Polly Palls to go to Super Splash Island Water Park.

Features

  • In each mini-game you win tickets. Gather enough to unlock the giant waterslide.
  • Find Polly Pocket Flowers that unlock hidden dressing rooms.
  • Dressing Rooms contain new outfits for you to wear.
  • The Info Booth gives detailed instructions for each game and unlockable.
  • Three levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal and Hard.

The Game

As Polly Pocket you work your way through seven short mini-games as you try to collect enough tickets to unlock the giant Water Slide ride. Some of the games are competitive, while others are challenges to collect enough items and power ups while dodging obstacles. Although many of the mini-games are fun, they are very basic, don't have much in the way of controls, and can get pretty dull fast. Expect it to keep younger players occupied for about two hours; while more advance gamers will grow tired of it in about 15 minutes.

Now I understand a budget title not wanting to flip for the expense of auto saving your game to the cartridge, but there is no excuse for password saves that do not work. After you've unlocked the first portion of the waterslide, the passwords generated simply aren't accepted when you try to use them. All you get is an "Incorrect Password" message. Additionally the passwords saves that do work only save the unlockables and not the tickets you've accumulated, so hours of accumulating tickets can easily be wasted if your game gets interrupted.

Mini-Games

  • Bumper Boats – The Bumper Boats are rafts you can control. Gain tickets by bumping your opponent onto shore. Two types of power boosts, Super Jump Power-Up that has your boat leaping into the air. When it lands, all the boats around it are swept away, and Super Bump where you bop your friends twice as hard.

  • Jet Boats – One of the more frustrating of the mini-games and the weakest in content. A very basic boat race with one power-up that allows you to go twice as fast for two seconds. The boats are awkward to control and the racetrack is extremely basic. Not a game you'll want to play more than once or twice.

  • Water Blaster – Launch water balloons at your friends as they pop out of the swimming pool through multicolored inner tubes. The key is to burst your balloon on the friend in the matching colored balloon. This of it as a color matching whack-a-mole. One of the more replayable of the games.

  • River Crossing – A Frogger-like game where you must hop across a river via barrels, islands and logs; along the way collecting balloons, power-ups and bonuses. Although fun, the game never mixes things up, so once you've played a few times, you've mastered it.

  • River Rapids – Ride your inner tube down the wild rapids, but dodge the rocks and whirlpools as you collect balloons and power-ups. Fun the first go round, but you can't control your speed and your moves are extremely limited.

  • Tube Trouble – Jump through three stories of tubes to collect balloons when they float by, but avoid waterspouts as they can knock you down and cause you to loose tickets. This mini-game is the most fun of the lot, mainly because you have more control than any of the others. You can get Polly from one level to another by jumping through corresponding colored tubes, plus she can also grab and hang onto the ceiling netting to avoid oncoming waterspouts. This one kind of reminds me of the classic Popeye arcade game.

  • Water Slide (Unlockable) – Not much of a game, but more of a ride where you collect flowers as you spin down a tube-like water slide. This is the only unlockable game but can only be opened in sections, by accumulating enough tickets from the other games. It's fun to watch the multicolored ride spin by, but once again, the lack of control and the variety of things to do make it grow tiresome. Plus the fact that your password save does not retain your tickets, it's more annoying than fun to unlock the entire ride.

Parents Guide

A completely non-violent game that is safe for players of all ages, but best suited for youngsters. This game has been Rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

Trivia

For almost ten years Bluebird Toys of England manufactured all of the Polly Pocket toys and used Mattel as a distributor. In 1998 Mattel purchased Bluebird and gave Polly and her friends and entirely new look and style.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.