American Girl PC Video Game Review: Windows PC Game Based on New Julie Character Celebrates Girls

THQ (publisher of such titles as Juiced, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw series and Drawn to Life) has teamed with American Girl, a division of Mattel, Inc., to publish American Girl: Julie Saves the Eagles based on the popular dolls and books for Windows PC. Julie Saves the Eagles is the first video game in the series and is based on the newest American Girl character, Julie Albright. Two additional titles are planned for release in the American Girl series: Julie Finds a Way for the Nintendo DS and another Windows PC game to be based on the yet-to-be-announced 2008 Girl of the Year character. Julie Finds a Way will release later this fall. The untitled Windows PC video game is expected to release in early 2008.

Game Summary

In American Girl: Julie Saves the Eagles players follow Julie’s journey throughout San Francisco. Players must help Julie on her quest of more than 24 challenging adventures to raise public awareness and money in order to save a family of endangered bald eagles.

Game Features

Players receive hints from Julie’s mom and her best friend, Ivy, gather objects, read diary entries and uncover factual information from conversations with family and friends to help her on her quest. This feature brings an educational element to the game. Players will unlock new destinations on Julie’s map by solving problems and completing tasks. Players must seek advice and even persuade family, friends and neighbors to help Julie reach her goals. Players travel throughout the San Francisco Bay area, Chinatown to the San Bruno Mountain to save the endangered eagles. Also included are two strategy-based mini-games.

Graphics

Although the graphics aren’t as spectacular as many of the current Windows PC games they are decent enough for the age group it’s intended for. Think in terms of The Sims on the PC and you’ll have a good idea of the quality of the graphics.

Sound

With a game like this there’s no real way to gauge the sound because of its theme. It’s not bad but at the same time it isn’t anything to brag about. Just remember this isn’t an action game and is intended to be more educational.

Gameplay

Mastering the keyboard and mouse movements is easy enough. Learning how to use the maps (see screenshot below) may pose a bit of a challenge for the younger players. The gameplay feels a little old school but is still a lot of fun. Even though it seems old school players will be so absorbed in the storyline and interacting with the environments and characters to care.

Bottom Line

American Girl: Julie Saves the Eagles for Windows PC is a game meant for fans of the American Girl Brand. It does a great job of keeping true to its fan base by presenting a game based on its newest character Julie Albright. Although the market is flooded with action games this is a refreshing break and besides, a little education never hurt anyone.

Rating 1-10 (10 being the best)

7.5

System Requirements

Windows XP/Vista CD

Minimum Requirements: Pentium III 800 MB, 512 MB RAM, DirectX 9.0 or higher (included on CD), 32 MB DirectX compatible video card, DirectX compatible sound card, 4X CD-ROM drive Keyboard and mouse.

Recommended Requirements: Pentium IV 1.3 GHz, 512 MB RAM, DirectX 9.0 or higher (included on CD), 32 MB DirectX compatible video card, DirectX compatible sound card, 4X CD-ROM drive, Keyboard and mouse.

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Get Your Girlfriend to Play Video Games: Four Easy Steps to Girlfriend/Playstation Harmony.

Traditionally, females and video games have been roughly as amenable as caviar and Coors Light.

Today, however, more females are playing video games than ever before. The recent explosion of casual games along with accessible consoles like the Nintendo Wii have created the possibility for gamers to spend time with their girlfriends and their Playstations simultaneously.

It’s in every male gamer’s best interest to introduce his girlfriend to his favorite hobby. Gaming can be a fantastic way to spend time together.

Here are the four simple steps that gamers can follow in order to finally bring their significant other and significant hobby together.

Step 1: Nostalgia.

Nearly everyone has some experience with video games, whether it’s a furious round of Pac-Man on an old Atari console or fond memories of repeatedly saving the princess as Mario. Find out her past with video games and tap into it.

If she was a big Donkey Kong Country fan, for example, then make a trip to a local pawn shop and pick up a Super Nintendo and a copy of the game for her to play. It’s a thoughtful gift that shows that you pay attention when she talks (always a good idea) while simultaneously opening her mind up to the possibility of playing video games again.

To many women, modern games appear to be needlessly-complicated kill fests. Remind her that games exist first and foremost because they are fun. Classic games are easy to pick up and play and that never changes.

Get Your Girlfriend to Play Video Games, Step 2: Casual Games.

Chances are, your girlfriend doesn’t think that shotgunning a guy in the face is half as fun as you do. Once you’ve successfully reminded her of the golden days of gaming, it’s time to move on to more modern fare. The key, however, is proper game selection.

Try puzzle or rhythm games. Women are less into games requiring homicidal impulses and more into those that take concentration and intelligence. The Nintendo DS and Wii are both loaded with games that fit the bill perfectly.

Show her your skills at Guitar Hero or introduce her to a puzzle game like Professor Layton and the Curious Village. She probably won’t jump in right away, but chances are if you show you the right type of game, you’ll at least pique her interest.

Get Your Girlfriend to Play Video Games, Step 3: Leave her Alone.

Trying new things is intimidating. You wouldn’t want to learn to putt with Tiger Woods leaning over your shoulder and chances are your girlfriend doesn’t want to take her first awkward steps into the strange new world of video gaming with someone who has been playing for 20 years critiquing her every move. Make your video games accessible to her, then leave her alone.

Let her get started in private, and when she feels like she’s got a handle on gaming, move on to step 4.

Get Your Girlfriend to Play Video Games, Step 4: The Couple that Games Together…

Start with games that feature cooperative gameplay. Tekken may be your favorite game, but you’re definitely not going to win your girlfriend over by repeatedly pounding her face in every time you play together. Play a game that gives you both a sense of accomplishment.

The couple that can get through Rock Band’s World Tour mode can get through anything.

More games that your girlfriend could like.