Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble!Mar 10, 2009 · peterb · 3 minute read
In a world where gamers complain that “there’s no innovation anymore!” but still always spend their money on the latest Bejeweled or the latest sequel to Prince of Grand Theft Halo, a game company that releases an innovative game is a rarity. A developer that releases two innovative games is almost unheard of.
A few years ago, Mousechief published The Witch’s Yarn, proving that there was something new under the sun. This game was, at heart, a “choose-your-own adventure” book, with the feel of a high school play performed by Colorforms toys. The writing was good, if at times a bit overwrought, and as near as I can tell, exactly no one bought it.
Part of this may have been that it didn’t feel like there was any game there; the experience was so much like a choose-your-own adventure book that perhaps people just chose to read one instead. If this is the case, it’s a lesson Mousechief has learned, because Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble (let’s abbreviate that as DHSGT) is all about integrating games into the story.
[caption id=“attachment_1586” align=“alignright” width=“214” caption=“Dangerous Girls”][/caption]The conceit of DHSGT is played on a board, with art and music lifted out of the 1920’s. You pick one of a number of girls (dressed like flappers!) and have her explore the school and form a gang. Each of the girls has different attribtues, such as popularity, rebellion, or glamour. As they move around the gameboard, they reveal plot events, which can be handled by misbehaving. You can taunt, or lie, or engage in other sorts of absolutely reprehensible behavior. Each type of interaction has a minigame associated with it. “Fib,” for example, is resolved by playing a variant of Liar’s Poker, while “Taunt” uses a minigame reminiscent of the Sword Master insult sequence from Monkey Island. Successfully being a bad girl can increase your stats, making that minigame easier as you advance.
The games are all quickly resolved and the plot moves at a brisk pace. The game can be played in small doses, although I found myself getting sucked in for longer than I’d like to admit. As in The Witch’s Yarn, the writing is literate if sometimes overly baroque. But this serves the self-aware and ironic setting of DHSGT better than it did that earlier game.
If your constant lament is that there is nothing new under the sun, then stop crying. DHSGT is the answer to what ails you. Available for both Mac and PC, it’s a steal for a mere 20 bucks. You can download a free trial of the game here.