Have You Played… Barbie Dreamhouse Party?

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

That’s a rhetorical question – of course you have. Everyone’s surely played Barbie Dreamhouse Party [official site]?

What I love most about Barbie Dreamhouse Party, and yes, sure, I’m hardly original in this position, is the influences of Portal.

Not in puzzle design, or the humour, or even aesthetic. I of course mean the appearance of a malevolent AI that communicates through a cyclopsian orb. A pink one. That lives in a wardrobe, and imprisons people when they get their make up wrong.

This terrifying fuschsia robot demands Barbie and her dangerously emaciated chums complete a series of minigames before it will – and you’ll all remember this is true and not a thing I’m making up – remove the giant metal shutters with which it’s trapped them inside her opulent mansion. Just in case for some reasons someone reading hasn’t played, and thinks this is in some way unrepresentative, here’s a clip:

Barbie and her friends clearly get on incredibly, sincerely well, as is displayed through the game’s witty repartee and heartfelt delivery:

Obviously it’s a game on all our shelves, and presumably one we all regularly replay, but it seemed unfair not to include it just in case.


  1. Don Reba says:

    Article illustration — they’re in for a crash when the coke runs out.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      I doubt they’ll notice, really – looks more like a pepsi crowd.

  2. Mungrul says:

    That dialogue… did anyone else find themselves mentally appending a whispered “Kill me! Kill me now!” to the end of Barbie’s chum’s lines?

  3. Merus says:

    It’s not that surprising that they would incorporate a sinister AI into a Barbie game. Portal is, canonically, one of Barbie’s favourite games.

    I am delighted that this fact exists. I don’t know how this happened, I don’t know how it managed to survive, even in its mangled, not-quite-sincere state. It’s like a tiny budding plant struggling through concrete.

    I love that Barbie has favourite games. I hope Portal keeps randomly showing up even as it recedes more and more into the past. I hope they have to come up with ever-more-unlikely reasons why a 16-year-old girl would obsess over this one first-person puzzle game made long before she was born, back when Valve still made games.

    • davethejuggler says:

      Blimey, I actually enjoyed that barbie video. What the fuck have you done to me?

      • cablechip says:

        Really?? I was only able to watch some seconds before having to close the tab due to feeling physically ill…those dead eyes, that voice *shudders*.

    • AmazingPotato says:

      And THIS is why the Internet exists. Thank you for bringing this glorious knowledge into my life, Merus! “Oh. Hi. How are you holding up because I am a potato.”

  4. Sorbicol says:

    My child once caught an episode of this on Netflix. Never, never again.

  5. vorador says:

    I think RPS should do an special on these soul sucking corporate shilling “games” for young childs.

    I mean, it’s just a goldmine.

  6. geldonyetich says:

    It’s interesting how they let the Toy Story portrayal of Barbie and Ken define the characters in the game. Indeed, it’s pretty clear they’re animate toys in the game, right down to the doll joints. So apparently this is what they do when their owners are away.

  7. Seafoam says:

    I feel kinda bad for the artist behind this. You can tell that they were kinda forced onto this project and they tried to still make it kinda best as they could with minimal effort.
    Imagine being stuck on a project like this by the company, sympathies with them,

  8. Stingy.Duck says:


    Every time you mention it, SOMEONE will reinstall it.

  9. frogulox says:

    What are the odds on taking a photo when everyone blinks at the same time?

    • Valkyr says:

      “Average time between blinks = 2.8 seconds
      Average duration of a single blink = 0.1-0.4 seconds” (from link to faculty.washington.edu)

      Assuming events are independent, and capture time of the photograph was instantaneous, the probability lies between (0.1/2.9)^n and (0.4/3.2)^n where n is the number of people on the picture. Here n=11, hence the probability is comprised between 8.20e-17 and 1.16e-10. Ballpark value, it’s equal or lower to 1 in 10 billion, which is lower than any one person dying in a plane crash (1 in 11 million link to curiosity.com) by a factor of… at least one thousand.

      • Otterley says:

        I’m not sure I agree with your limits of 2.9 and 3.2 – just sayin’.

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    Martell says:

    Wait, this article came out in 2017, yet those videos were uploaded 2013. Was there an actual review for this thing?

    Oh lordy, there is. You poor bastard.

  11. Merry says:

    Fuchsia John. Fuchsia!

  12. Quickly says:

    Have You Played’s that are a tad more content-filled such as this are always appreciated. More like it I say.

  13. poliovaccine says:

    Immediately regretting what those videos are going to do to my youtube suggestions. Balls balls balls.

  14. teije says:

    RPS HYPs. Performing a valuable public service since 1873.

  15. Farnbeak says:

    Lool, does it have local coop for those 4-section tournaments? Gonna get people really competetive when enough vodka is consumed at my next lanparty. What a gem!

  16. Adam says:

    That sinister pink thing is called Closet. He’s was made by Ken, who’s a genius inventor, to help Barbie curate here L-Space style wardrobe.

    I know this because my daughter found it on Netflix and we didn’t escape in time. I’ve seen the whole lot at least ten times.

    It’s too late for me, save yourselves!

  17. WJonathan says:

    I didn’t watch the entire clip, so I assume it eventually transitions into the Black Hole Sun video?