October 2004

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


Barbie Princess and the Pauper from Vivendi Universal Games for the PC and the Nintendo Game Boy Advance

By Howard Berenbon

Girls ages 5 and up will love this new Barbie software title from Mattel and Vivendi Universal Games. In Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper, girls will assist Barbie (as Ericka), with the help of Princess Anneliese, as she proves herself worthy to be crowned queen in this game based on the classic tale. In their journey through the kingdom, girls will find lots of fun activities, games and villains to confront, as they help Erika attain her goal as queen.  You’ll help the villagers, solve puzzles, plant a flower garden, catch apples, bake and decorate cakes, create stained glass windows, make colorful banners and decorate the castle to prepare for Erika’s big day. Other activities include spinning wool, making flags, making horseshoes, cutting wood and playing with the kittens.  And, you can have people talk to you when you meet them in the kingdom.  The game offers great graphics, realistic sound effects and beautiful classical music for your adventure with Barbie.

After a quick installation from a single CD, and signing in, you’ll travel to the world of The Princess and the Pauper and enter the castle to begin.  Use the arrow keys and mouse to move Barbie (as Erika), at first through the castle, and then within the kingdom. Your very first task will be to collect flowers in the garden.

Becky, my 9-year-old daughter, really enjoyed this CD.  In fact, she said, “I loved making cakes because you measure the ingredients and then get to frost it when it’s done backing.” But she didn’t care for caring for the cat.  That’s understandable because we don’t have pet to care for in our house.

In the beginning, when computers were young, girls had very little software to choose from.  But, with the help of Mattel and Vivendi Universal Games, the Barbie titles are abundant, and several new girl-oriented CDs are released yearly. 

Barbie Princess and the Pauper sells for $29.99 and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium II 350 MHz or faster processor, 64 MB RAM with Windows 98/ME/2000/XP and a 24x speed CD-ROM drive. It also runs on the Macintosh PowerMac G3 300 MHz or faster with 64 MB RAM and a 24x CD-ROM drive.

The Game Boy Advance version is available for $29.99.  For more information visit www.vugames.com

Software Companies Mentioned

Vivendi Universal Games, Inc.
4247 S. Minnewawa Ave.
Fresno, CA 93725
Phone: 1-800-545-7677