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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Read more game articles here.