Genesis Reviews

Barney’s Hide & Seek Game

Genre: Children Developer: Realtime Associates Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1 Released: 1993

You knew it was coming. One day, you were going to come to the website, see the new review, and maybe cringe slightly. You hoped it would never happen. If it did, maybe no one would remember it.

Well, it’s hard to forget games this bad.

Back in 1993, similar feelings were felt by many parents of young children of America.

That a Barney game would come to the popular Sega Genesis was about as sure as death and taxes, and about as much fun. So, you pay for the game so your kid doesn’t wreck the whole Walmart with his tantrum, and soon, the kid is glued to the screen by the hypnotic powers of the man in the purple dinosaur suit. You look at the TV and wonder why you must suffer this torture.

The actual look of the Barney’s Hide & Seek Game, admittedly, isn’t THAT bad. The graphics are nice and bright, and the cartoony look is perfect for the age group it targets. The recreations of the few real characters are pretty close to the show. Obviously, most of the graphics were created for the game, seeing as the show isn’t a giant cartoon, just some kids and a guy in a suit running around a school yard for a half hour.

The controls can actually be a bit confusing at times. Any of the buttons except for the D-pad make Barney blow a kiss in the air. Even the start button does this, which means no pausing. The premise of the game is simple – walk and jump around simple platform levels (but only if you’re right next to a platform) looking for assorted friends and presents. After finding them, Barney grabs them for a great big hug and then tosses the child to the ground and it runs away. They’re apparently hiding from Barney, if you want to call it hiding. I mean, hiding can constitute half of a kid sticking out from a rock or a log, or hiding behind a bush that is three feet too short. Some even hide in plain sight. Read that again. Hide in plain sight! They claim it’s a game (it being hide and seek), but we know the real truth. These kids need to escape before it’s too late! I mean, they try to leave school, and suddenly this stuffed animal comes alive and forces them to stay after school. During that time, they sing, dance, learn some vague lesson, then go home. You’d think the parents would do something, but instead they just get more Ritalin prescriptions.

Hide & Seek Game is pretty short, especially if you put the controller down and do nothing, because that’s when it does the thing that almost made me claim the difficulty was non-applicable. The game, if left alone for long enough, PLAYS ITSELF! If your kid gets bored with it (which happens), they can just sit and watch as Barney walks to the end of the level, or just press the down button, and the game becomes a cheap screen saver.

Side note: Does anyone remember an episode where a blind kid was on the show, and met Barney? He felt Barney’s stomach, and somehow knew not only that he was about seven feet tall and was made of fabric, but he also knew that Barney was Purple! PURPLE!

Anyway, the sound isn’t really anything to complain about, and the music is simple public domain kiddy songs without the words. Most of the sounds are really just different stock sounds, like bells, chirps, whistles, fireworks, etc.

I guess Barney’s Hide & Seek Game did its purpose of being a simple game for kids, and that’s about it. And because it’s a game that fulfilled its purpose, and actually isn’t THAT bad, this isn’t getting the 1-3 rating that some may have been expecting.


SCORE: 4 out of 10


One Comment

  1. All apologies, I’ve just buy this… thing… in a gaming store in NYC. The seller had a little smile. Completist retrogamers have an hard life.
    Finally, Barney’s Hide and Seek might be a good approach to younger audience, cause my 1-year daughter seems quite hypnotized in front of the TV. The “game” appears to be a colorful non-sense. Is this LSD for kids? CONCLUSION: 5/10

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