Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Series

by Wencke Schuncken

Some of you will be stunned, some get nostalgic feelings and some understand when they this tribute as it is Strawberry Shortcake! The stunned ones probably wonder why we picked her as they aren’t aware of her videogame appearance. Those with the nostalgic feelings remember her from a long time ago when Strawberry Shortcake was a very famous doll and adored by many of us. The ones who understand why we declared Strawberry Shortcake as a Gamer Girl, are aware that recently she had a leading role in the Playstation 2 game “Strawberry Shortcake - The Sweet Dreams Game” and already made a name in the land of videogames!

But before we start talking about all those videogames, let’s take a look at that girl! Strawberry Shortcake is a sweet but spunky little redhead with enough optimism to fill a strawberry field. She really believes things are growing better all the time and as the unofficial berry princess of Strawberryland, she puts her heart and soul into seeing that things improve for everyone she meets. Strawberry is also quite adventurous, so it's no surprise that she has friends from other lands both near and far.

She and her lovely cat Custard were designed in 1977 by Muriel Fahrion and became later famous as a (rag) doll. Actually there was a whole line of other characters in the Shortcake line and each had their own fruity or dessert-themed name with clothing to match, and they each had a dessert or fruit named pet. Like the Strawberry Shortcake doll, all the other characters' dolls also had hair scented to match their dessert theme. The characters lived and played in a magical world known as Strawberryland.

During the 1980s, Strawberry Shortcake became a huge hype. At the time, there were several related products, such as sticker albums, clothes, and … yes her first videogame on the Atari 2600; Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Match-Ups! It’s a puzzle game where the goal is to straighten out Strawberryland characters within a given time limit. When the game begins, a mixed up character will appear on the screen and you need to change the head, body, and legs until they are all from a single character. If a complete character is correctly formed, the character will perform a dance and you will hear their musical theme.

Then it was quiet until in 2004 the Gameboy Advance (GBA) game Strawberry Shortcake: Summertime Adventure became available. The player needs to help Strawberry Shortcake and her friends prepare for the Strawberryland Bakeoff! Collect and select the best berry seeds and other ingredients, for her special recipes including her award winning Strappleburst juice. But you need to have some green fingers to tend your garden and grow the best berries!

In 2005 another GBA game was released: Strawberry Shortcake: Ice Cream Island Riding Camp. Near the end of summer, just before fall, Strawberry and her friends travel to Ice Cream Island to attend a horseback riding camp. The player starts an adventure with plot-driven what-to-do puzzles and nurture the friendly horse. Also items and power-ups need to be collected in order to rescue animals. Of course a horse needs to participate in time-based trials with water hazards, bushes and fences. A multiplayer mode supports up to 4 players, offering Polo matches and other tournaments.

2006 was a busy year for Strawberry Shortcake as she starred besides GBA games also in PC, PS2 and Nintendo DS games! In the PC game Strawberry Shortcake: And Her Berry Best Friends, Strawberry Shortcake lost her scrapbook with all her memories and tokens of friendship. By visiting her friends, being kind and helping them out, Strawberry collects new tokens of friendship. Creating a new scrapbook is the main goal in the game!

After the GBA games, a Strawberry Shortcake made her debut on the Nintendo DS; Strawberry Shortcake: Strawberryland Games. It takes the player through a series of fun mini-games, part of the Nearly Once a Year Festival. Peppermint Fizz and her pet Cola Chameleon have been cheating their way to victory, so the objective is to win in all of the competitions, fair and square. Compete and have fun by participating events such as The Balloon Ride, Carnival Games and The Baker's Corner!

Strawberry Shortcake Sweet Dreams is the latest GBA game that also is released on the PS2. In the PS2 version some of Strawberry’s friends aren't able to dream at night. Strawberry is going to help by going to Dreamland to build new dreams for her friends. Guide her on her way, help her face different challenges to overcome in her quest to help her friends dream again. A stimulating game for the players’ imagination and creativity all while having lots of fun and learning about the value of friendship.

If you’re in the mood to play at this very moment, I suggest you click here to play a Strawberry Shortcake online mini game. If you want to have the real deal, check out the PS2 game “Strawberry Shortcake - Sweet Dreams” !