If you grew up in the 1980's and 1990's like I did, and if you are a major Girlie Girl like I am, then you're probably familiar with this game. It came out in 1995, and I was 13. Probably not in the target audience, but I still watched my Care Bears and My Little Pony videos at that age. Physically, I grew up, but mentally, I didn't, and I still haven't! But I always was interested in playing this game, ever since I saw the commercial for it on Cartoon Network.
I recently found the game complete on Ebay, and better yet, on Buy It Now, so natch, I jumped for it. My sister and I have played this quite a bit since I recieved it. So here's the review.
As the story goes, a wicked witch has captured the queen, and it's up to four players to save her using a light up magic wand (batteries not included). To save the queen, the player must collect a lantern, a mirror, and a key (what these are needed for, I'll never know. The game doesn't say).
The pawns in the game are all transparent glitterized plastic molded to look like girls. They are pink, blue, purple, and yellow (actually, she's kinda more orange-ish, isn't she?), but they are actually given names. From left to right in the picture: Rose, Sky, Violet, and Amber (my, how original).
Now, for the game play. After you "build" the castle, and turn the game on, the Queen asks, "who will help me?" and then she'll call out each "girl's" name. When the name is called, the player uses the magic wand to press the crown on the game speaker to "sign in." (sorry about the lousy photo)
Once the players sign in, you hear the witch say "Rose, Sky, Violet, and Amber! I have your queen! You'll never save her!" And then, the queen says "Rose, go to a room." It always starts with Rose (this is a girl's game, and there is an unwritten rule that pink *HAS* to go first in a girl's game). So "Rose" enters one of the rooms, by putting the magic wand into one of the holes on the game board.
Once the player enters a room, she puts the wand into the crown on the game console, and is either told she found one of the three items needed by the queen, or "there's nothing for you here!" by the witch. Then, it's Sky's turn, and so on, and so on.
However, there's a hitch. A hitch in the form of a witch, that is. Any time during game play, the witch can cast a spell on one of the rooms. If one of the players is in said room, POP! She turns into a frog. I guess Kermit was right. It's not easy bein' green!
The transformed player (Amber in this case) remains a frog and passes the wand to the next player, replacing her girl pawn with her corresponding frog pawn (actually, the frogs with the bows are kinda cute). The queen will say "Rose, go to a room, or cast a spell." Now, Rose can either open the door to the next room (by sticking the wand into one of the holes on the game board), or she can cast a spell, by touching the crown on the game console with the wand. If she casts a spell, the queen will announce that Rose has saved Amber from the spell, and Amber has to give Rose one of the three items she's found. And whatever the queen says goes.
Once a player has all three items, the queen will call that player to the tower. Once the player goes to the tower, she passes the wand to the next person, and the cycle goes until it's the tower girl's turn again (for all intents and purposes, let's just say it's Rose). Once the queen says, "Rose help me!" the girl playing as Rose touches a button on the top of the tower with the magic wand.
Once the button on the tower is pushed, the doors swing open, and knock Witchie-Poo off the tower, and Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead (well, not really, I just couldn't resist putting that in there), and the queen is saved.
The queen then says, "Rose, you saved me. You are the princess of the kingdom!" Then you take the bow off your pawn's head, and replace it with her corresponding crown.
There are a couple of interesting aspects of this game that I have never encountered in any other board game before. For one thing, you can play this as a solo game. All you do is sign in as Rose, and not sign in when the other three girls are called. If, during your solo game, Rose gets turned into a frog, Sky comes in. If Sky is turned into a frog, Violet comes in. If Violet turns into a frog, Amber comes in. And if Amber turns into a frog, Game Over.
That's another thing I've noticed about this game. You can lose, too! Remember back when I talked about the witch's spells? Well, if all four players are in the same room Witchie-Poo casts a spell on, all four turn into frogs, and that's the end of the game.
All in all, I thought this was a cute game. I found it fun, but then again, I *am* a Girlie Girl, so what'd you expect?