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Bratz: Ponyz

Score: 55%
ESRB: Early Childhood
Publisher: The Game Factory
Developer: Neko Entertainment
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Family/ Miscellaneous/ Survival Horror

Graphics & Sound:

Bratz Ponyz is a game that you'll probably judge by the cover, but you'll come to different conclusions depending on whether you're 3 years old or 20. I'm quite far outside the target demographic, and I'm a little out of touch with children's toys, but the purpose of this brand is pretty transparent: make your "ponyz" pretty.

The question is, just how pretty is Bratz Ponyz? Well, it is a colorful pastel world full of glitter and flowers. How attractive that is to you depends on your taste. The maps aren't ugly, but they consist of lot of repeating trees and bushes and such. So after a while, there's not much in the background to hold interest, but you'll be seeing a whole lot of it if you want to play through this game.

As for the pony (ponyz, poniez, horze, I really don't know) you control, you can gather accessories and tattoos for it, but it's not going to change their appearance on the map. You can go to a screen where you can play dress up with a still picture of your pony, but that's about it. You spend most of your time walking around in Bratz Ponyz, so it seems like that's where the detail and customization should show, but it doesn't.

Music and sound in Bratz Ponyz are simple, light-hearted background music tracks. You also get the occasional giggle from your pony. There's nothing annoying or irritating about the sound in this game, but there's nothing there that will excite either.


So what do Bratz Ponyz do all day that would warrant creating a game? I'll lay your curiosity to rest: Ponyz brush their hair and put on mascara continually, almost without rest.

Bratz Ponyz is basically a set of mini-games. You will be given a set of 4 mini-games to complete, and then you are required to find a meteorite, then the cycle repeats. Why do you have to find a meteorite? Because there's something pretty inside, that's why. Yes, this is the reason you're given. But after you've applied hair glitter and tattoos to a pony, who's the crazy one, eh? Oh, and I'll spoil it for you, there's furniture inside the meteorite. That's probably why your pony can never touch any of it: for fear of space-furniture radiation poisoning. Really, your Ponyz can't sit on or interact with all this furniture that you play the game for. All you can do is look at the furniture and then go play more mini-games.

But really, any additional amount of interactivity with the environment would have been nice. After a few iterations of the mini-game cycle, you are required to search for items in order to unlock the new mini-games. That means you have to search all over the map for a hidden item. Gradually, you have to search further and further for the items. You can find a few hidden mini-games and pictures for your house while you're out there searching, but not much else. Sometimes you'll meet another pony who will give you a clue, but usually they repeat something they've said a hundred times before. There's just not much to do but walk and walk until you find the feather or bead or other item that you need.

What's more, the mini-games soon start to repeat. So in one cycle of mini-games, you may be washing your Ponyz face and putting on mascara. In the next cycle, you may be putting on mascara and then eye shadow. You soon start to realize there aren't any new mini-games coming, and that they are just going to keep repeating in a different order.

And finally, story is almost non-existent in Bratz Ponyz. Your job is to become the best citizen of Ponyz Island, that's all. Past that, you're not told anything more about why you're endlessly repeating these games or why you're salvaging furniture from meteorites. Needless to say, it gets dull very soon.


Bratz Ponyz is not a difficult game by any stretch. There is a bit of a learning curve, but this is mainly due to the fact that the rules of the games aren't fully explained before you jump in and play. For example, the tattoo game doesn't seem to care so much about you coloring within the outline you draw, but staying within the shaded outline that is pre-drawn for you. It could be tricky for young players, but there really isn't much of a "penalty" system in place for doing badly anyway. On the other hand, there really isn't much of an incentive to do well either. You'll simply receive a different number of hearts and a congratulation message. I suppose you're trying to do well so that you get a better ending, but the ending of this game is so very far out of reach you'll probably end up getting tired of it before you get there.

Game Mechanics:

Bratz Ponyz does utilize all the input functions of the DS, but mainly sticks to the touch screen. You'll blow on the mic during a hot-air balloon game in order to raise your balloon. You'll rub the touch screen to brush hair, bead necklaces, fill in tattoos, and of course, apply mascara. Look, I'm not kidding, you will be applying a lot of mascara in this game. But for the simplicity of the game, the controls do work well. And since the menus are accessed by pressing buttons rather than icons on the DS touch screen, the screen isn't filled with menu icons.

There is a two-player mode in which you can play with a friend. So if you're not worn out by playing this game on your own, you can challenge someone else. The two player games require you to pass the DS to the second player when it's their turn, so no second DS is required (or supported).

Overall, there isn't much in Bratz Ponyz that can keep one motivated to keep playing it. The Ponyz don't do much besides putting on makeup and brushing their hair. It blatantly repeats its mini-games in order to make a longer game, and there's no story or personality behind the Ponyz or the island they live on. I'm not sure even the very young could stay entertained by this game for long.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Sony PlayStation Portable Final Fantasy II Microsoft Xbox 360 Shadowrun

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated