After connecting the pieces of a broken magical pendant together, Mary-Kate & Ashley find themselves trapped in a time warp inside the mall. Complete tasks to earn the gems missing from the pendant to put everything back to normal.
Description Type: Mini Games
Platform: Playstation One
Players: Single Player
Age: 3 plus
Game Time: 2 hours
Developer or Designer: Dualstar Interactive
Publisher: Club Acclaim
Can add your own music to the game
No two player mode
The fourth game in a series of Mary-Kate & Ashley games aimed at girls, Magical Mystery Mall was released for the Playstation One in 2000, and includes five arcade-style mini games.
If you have read my reviews for Crush Course and Winner's Circle, you will be aware of a running theme through the series is its poor graphics. I would say Magical Mystery Mall was ever so marginally better, probably because its arcade style makes pixilated images slightly easier to get away with. When the characters move, however, it looks very stilted, and sometimes as if they are walking on air in slow motion.
The aim of the game is to collect five gems in order to unfreeze the mall. To do this May-Kate & Ashley have to go into various shops to complete certain tasks. Although there are only five games, a few of them are reasonably long and challenging enough to occupy your time, but it something that you can complete in one sitting. There is a certain amount of replayability, but not much.
Out of the five games, I think the one at the diner is most successful. Here you have to serve customers their orders within a certain time limit, while earning both profit and tips. This is pretty easy until they start ordering drinks with their meal, and then it becomes trickier. The main reason for the difficulty is not the actually challenge of the game, but the poor response of the controls, which sometimes makes you pick up the wrong item.
Another fun game is at the winter sports shop, where you compete on the slopes. Here you can pick your snow board and opponent, both of which have different specs.
The main customisation, however, is at the the clothes shop, where you can put on a fashion show. Accessorise the twins in any way you want, and then take photographs of them on the cat walk. Your score will be determined by how good your outfit choice is, and how well you took the photographs.
Another photography challenge is at the beach (how they escaped the mall to do this, I don't know). Mary-Kate & Ashley told their friends that they were buddies with the lifeguards, and now have to prove it, by taking pictures of themselves with the boys.
The last game is quite unique for the time it was made. Your task is to create a music video, and you actually have the ability to insert your own CD into the playstation, record the song onto the game, and then have the characters dance to it. That is about the only novel thing about this game, however. The music video involves dance steps, so you would think the challenge would be for you to perform the steps correctly by hitting the right buttons, as was later the case with Crush Course. Nope. The dance moves are all automated. All you get to do is change the camera angle and add some sparkly effects to the background while they dance.
I think Mary-Kate & Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall had the potential to be a relatively entertaining game for young girls who are into fashion, but it failed to provide proper interactivity. I would be interesting to see what this game would be like if remade today, particularly if it were for the Nintendo Wii. Overall I don't think it is good enough to warrant such a remake though.