Ever play a game that just makes you want to take a scalding shower to wash away the horrid experience? If you haven’t, Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Match-Ups sure will make you. Still don’t believe me? Read on to be fully warned on this level Red on the Homeland Security terrorist rating system, then take plenty of safety precautions.
Musical Match-Ups is a simple matching game that involves matching the head, torso, and legs of five different characters from the series. These characters include Strawberry Shortcake, Huckleberry Pie, Blueberry Muffin, Purple Pieman, and Lime Chiffon. Every time you finish matching up the pieces, you get to listen to a little ditty that matches with the character you made. It’s simplistic and wows the little kiddies, so it works.
The controls themselves are good and simple, and consist of up and down to choose the section of the body you want to match, and left and right to select the correct character piece. Once the mundane task is done, you can press the fire button to listen to some quality music that could make a deaf man wince.
To change up the gameplay, Musical Match-Ups offers up a few other modes, like a time mode where you have to match the chosen character for that round. The harder modes force you to match the characters’ parts after hearing their theme song. It’s a nice attempt, but falls significantly short of interesting.
I wish I could say all good things about the graphics to give Musical Match-Ups some inkling of respect, but what is done well is quickly negated by an “ugly” factor. While the characters themselves are pretty detailed and are nicely colored, the offensive green “hillside” background is overbearing. On top of that, the only animation seen is a pair of goofy dancing legs and the sun moving across the screen as the timer on other difficulties. I just don’t find it enough for an Atari game.
As I stated before, the sound is craptastic. The music itself isn’t bad; it’s just that the sound is too squelchy, and some of the tones are ear-piercing. The music does have an interesting aspect to it: Each character piece is also a part of their theme music. Mismatching the parts will cause a mishmash of song parts; technically, this means that there are 125 (5 head * 5 torso * 5 sets of legs) song arrangements. I wouldn’t try listening to every single one, though, because there are many better games to waste your time with (a round of Pac-Man anyone?).
While Musical Match-Ups has many creative elements to it, they are instantly destroyed by poor execution in other areas of the game on the developers’ part. I suggest playing this for a laugh, or using it as away to keep a little brat busy; but don’t waste your precious time with this glorified sound test.