Do you remember when the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley where the biggest thing in the world? Between 1999 and 2002, there were 9 games released with the girl’s names in the title and almost all were universally panned. One of the more famously bad ones was called Mary-Kate and Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall and was released in 2000 for the PS1.
It’s not right that going into Magical Mystery Mall the expectation is for it to be bad but that is the case here. Not only do you expect it to be bad but anything better then that will make this an instant classic in the Mary-Kate and Ashley game series.
Unsurprisingly this is not a good game. In fact, it’s down-right terrible but it has a tiny bit of charm.
The girls have decided to spend the day at the mall and come across a jewellery store. They find a really nice item but it is too expensive. Speaking with the owner she gives it to them for a knockdown price as it is missing five gems. It’s up to the girls to find the five gems spread around the mall by taking part in mini-games.
There are 5 in total and they are a real mixed bunch. The waitress mini-game requires pin-point accuracy using controls that aren’t up to scratch. The snow-boarding event is so frustrating as you get stuck on everything. If you play these two one after another, you’ll be convinced that the game is broken. It nearly is if it wasn’t for the photo-shoot games which work much better but go on for far too long.
A pretty neat thing about this game is that the twins had a contest to pick two boys to star in the game with them and they really are in it! That’s a pretty nice idea.
Another nice idea is the ability to play as either Mary-Kate or Ashley. There is no difference between how they control. Both terribly but you’d be surprised by how many of the games don’t include this feature.
Most of the mini-games, at least when doing enough to earn the gems, have enough challenge to test. However, most of the time, the difficulty comes from the rubbish controls.
Visually it’s ugly and certainly not pushing the PS1 to its limits while the music/sound effects are repetitive. The kind of game you play on mute after a while if you’ve not turned it off already.
Mary-Kate and Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall