For the remainder of this review I will pretend I am a 14-year-old girl, so please accept my apologies in advance. On another note, this is a big review for NZGamer.com, as it is the first girl game on the site.
Bratz: Rock Angelz is based on the recently released movie starring five teenage girls. While the characters have all the depth of a cheap paint job, the gameplay has the depth needed for it to appeal to gamers outside its target audience.
Bratz is best described as ‘GTA for girls’ - it is probably fairly assumed that young girls have no interest in killing cops or beating up pedestrians. You take control of one of four young girls and go on numerous missions. Where GTA had car stealing and prostitutes to rob, Bratz has boys to flirt with and fashion trends to follow.
The main story goes that Bratz member Jade gets a job at a popular fashion magazine. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get along with her boss or co-workers, so the Bratz gang create their own fashion label. The majority of the game is then spent collecting 'bling tokens' which are used for purchasing clothes and accessories, and helping your fellow bratz by picking out outfits or doing medial tasks such as delivering smoothies from a fast-food stand. If need be you can cancel the mission in the pause menu. If you have to come back to the game later, you can check your current mission status with a cell phone.
The cells phone also serves as a link between characters, allowing you to send and receive text messages, check the number of coins collected, and take or view pictures. There are also four covers and ring tones available, to keep it in line with your clothing style.
Fashion is a big part of the game, and there are a few clothing and makeup stores to visit, each with its own radio, standard clothes stands, and a thrift bin. If you find you’ve spent all your money, you can dress up your girl in the Bratz office with clothes you’ve purchased and go to the dance stage and make your girl pose in her new outfit, a feature sure to please hairy old men and young girls alike.
As the title suggests, Rock Angelz features pop-rock music, which is played on the radio in every store and can be changed. There is a small selection of tracks available with more to unlock as you progress and complete tasks. Although aimed at 8 to 14 year old girls, some of the tunes can be quite catchy; then again, you can always turn the radio off. Outside you will occasionally come across friends who will comment on your style - or lack thereof.
There are a few problems with the game. While having an entire city to explore sounds fun, saving the game can only be done in the Bratz office building. This poses a problem at times, as the only map available takes the form of map stations located in each part of the city, making finding your way back to the office when you want to save a pain. The city is split into five sections, each containing different shops, except for the park, which houses a bunch of animals.
There is a lot more depth to this game than the characters might have you believe at a glance, although that’s not to say it isn’t geared towards kids - just that the older fans of the series out there may also appreciate the gameplay. Fans of the animated series will love it, while anyone put off by the packaging is probably right to do so.