Have You Played… Super Barbie Brain Doctor?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

We have, somehow, ended up on the mailing lists of several children’s games sites which upload new copyright-infringing browser games every day. As a serious professional, I dutifully play every one. They’re all built from the same pieces, artwork and frameworks shook up in a bag and turned out, and I’ve come to enjoy seeing which combination each day will bring. I’ve helped every Disney princess deliver babies, given Robert Pattinson a make-over, and healed Hello Kitty, but none fascinated me more than Super Barbie Brain Doctor [official site].

The magic bag for Super Barbie Brain Doctor turned out a game where Barbie’s superhero alter-ego has been poisoned by a villain. You take her temperature, of course, measure her blood pressure as is only sensible, then… perform electroshock therapy, cut her hair as she cries, shave her head, before slicing open her scalp and removing her skull cap. Then, you know, you perform brain surgery as usual – swabbing, vacuuming, reconnecting neural pathways, and stickyplastering until it’s all better.

As I say, all these games are built from similar bits, so I’ve cut hair in beauty games and taken temperatures in doctor games, but Super Barbie Brain Doctor is fascinating for how eagerly it launches into awful surgical procedures. Discovering what’s causing her badbrain and removing it is less fun, really, but the setup is still worth it. It’s such an odd thing.

I’ve read that these sorts of games can help children come to terms with a pet’s illness or feel brave ahead of surgery, preparing them for an unkind world like many books do, but gosh this roll of the dice is just so good. Barbie + electroshocks + headshaving + scalpcutting + braincleansing + scalpstitching.

Super Barbie Brain Doctor is free to play in your browser. Do go have a look.


  1. Hobbes says:



    … wat.

  2. CaspianRoach says:

    Thiiiiiis could have easily turned sexual in the middle there.

    • VanDerSpar says:


      I believe you’re thinking of SuckerPunch, which is a terrible movie. I suggest you get a professional, preferably an adult, to remove that center of your brain, that has any connections to that movie.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Regardless of your sentiments on the movie, this does seem a rather odd place to ram them, especially five years after its release. (Dear lord I’m old)

        Additionally, I don’t expect there are many professional brain surgeons under the age of 18, anyway.

  3. Spuzzell says:

    The performance reviews at RPS Towers must have some rather strange checkboxes.

    Anyway, this game.

    I would, but I’ve still got three levels of “Tell Dora The Explorer She’s Got Cancer” to finish.

  4. corinoco says:

    We aren’t going to start a galaxy-spanning civilization, are we? We’re going to die out. At least we’ll have fashion sense and know how to put on make up though. At least we’ll have that.

  5. GernauMorat says:

    What is the target audience for this? Actually, I don’t think I want to know.

    • Monggerel says:

      Probably people making Youtube videos where they screech their best imitation of Cleric Beast at weird internet shit.
      Like, Pewdiepie and Markipllier and such.

      • GernauMorat says:

        Even less to my taste than I had previously thought, then.

    • aleander says:

      I’ve read that these sorts of games can help children come to terms with a pet’s illness or feel brave ahead of surgery, preparing them for an unkind world like many books do

      It’s amazing what you can find out if you read the article you comment on!

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Children who like Barbie and games.

      • Yglorba says:

        And, in this case, brain surgery!

      • Sinomatic says:

        Or children who like games and hate Barbie, maybe.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        And people with very specific fetishes.

        (But seriously, I get a really fetish-y vibe out of a lot of these. It may not be their #1 target market, but it’s definitely in there.)

    • Richard_from_Winnipeg says:

      Probably the girl I’m seeing, who grew up loving barbies and is now studying clinical psychology and still has curiosity regarding modifying other’s moods.

  6. zxcasdqwecat says:

    Pretties nazi doctor sim in the solar system

  7. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I’m waiting for the GOTY edition to come out.

  8. Zankman says:

    Quality RPS journalism.

    • TWChristine says:

      What’s with this? This is like the 3rd or 4th time I’ve seen this comment, or something along these lines and it seems like it’s always on Alice’s articles. I’m not a fan of “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” or “if you don’t like it leave” type remarks, but seriously..if you don’t like her articles then just don’t read them. And if you really can’t stand the direction RPS is headed, then write a constructive letter to the team with possible solutions. But these stupid snarky remarks are just that.

      (With that said, I recognize it could have been meant specifically in a positive light, which if that’s the case then please disregard.)

      • HopeHubris says:

        Pretty sure I’ve seen that comment on Pip’s stuff as well

  9. Carra says:

    Barbie has a brain?

  10. seroto9 says:

    I can’t get past the hair-cutting level. She’s left crying forever in my browser. I’m such a heel.

    • solkan says:

      The hotspot on the hair cutting is weird. You’re supposed to cut her hair from the ends (around her neck) up, rather than try to start where the arrow is pointing to.

      I got stuck on the hair the first time and didn’t figure it out until I tried it a second time.

  11. rexx.sabotage says:

    I am aware of all the things Hearthstoning, Dark Souling and Hitmaning because lots of money is spent to disallow me an alternative.

    But, this…

    I was not aware of this insane, bizzare thing, more please!

  12. stormy says:

    This is great. Even better than Super Barbie Resurrection Emergency!

    Someone needs to do speed runs of these.

  13. Ben King says:

    I once stumbled across my boss’s 3yo kid playing a game in this genre last fall, and it was really bizarrely gruesome. I would have been more shocked than I was except that the girl playing it was utterly unfazed by the state of the character, and seemed really happy to be puttering away fixing her up with hamfisted toddler finger taps. It also helped that I’d read phillipa’s article on the pregnant Frozen princess games so I knew they were out there. link to rockpapershotgun.com
    I’d forgotten until now what a role “playing doctor” had in preschool play when I was a kid- mixed right in with the toys were stethoscopes, nurses hats and other begnin hospital accessories, it’s just that the theater-of-the-mind used in the play room didn’t have the weirdly polished visuals of beaten cartoon characters to go with,… just brightly colored plastic bone saws and jumbo toy syringes.

  14. Mandrake42 says:

    Wow. I’ve seen people online write about these types of games before, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen one where you lobotomise Barbie

  15. Biggus_Dikkus says: