Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble

By Kieron Gillen on November 29th, 2007 at 6:24 pm.

Sometimes a developer does the right thing, and gives their game a good – nay, splendid – name so I don’t have think up a rubbish pun title. This is about as One Of Those Times as it gets.

Dangerous.

I’d been half-following the game since I heard the name, but Leigh Alexander’s review informed me that they’ve actually released a demo for the School-set Jazz-Age-RPG that’s so arch that architects are considering putting a big platform across the top of it and using it as a bridge. While it isn’t out until early next year, and I suspect I’ll be writing more then, you at least need to play the demo from here. And if you need convincing, have a nose beneath the cut.

We call it fucking.

We’ve all had that suspicion.

Anyway, Dangerous High School Girls in trouble is a casual-RPG, which gives you a choice of a mass of charming gels with different abilities. I went for the pictured Louise, who’s highly rebellious but not too popular. You gather your gang of girls and start moving around the faux-board-game set up. I say faux, because while it lifts the iconography, it doesn’t really work in a board-game fashion, rather using it to create a parlour-room ambience. You choose where to go next, discover who’s there, and then – well – get into trouble with them. Teachers can be engaged for their secrets. Other girls talked into joining your gang. Boys can be flirted with, and – if they’re not too much – become your devoted slave, taking the bullet from teachers when your sharp tongue gets you into hot water.

And there’s a lot of sharp tongues in it. It replaces the RPG combat systems with high-school specific activities. For example, you swap bon mots in the manner of Monkey Island, with the larger structure actually meaning the hunting for the perfect come back feels surprisingly compelling. Other conflicts – such as lying, uncovering secrets and flirting work in similar casual style subgames (Lying is playing a cup-game, the secret uncovering is a word-guessing one and flirting is a pattern recognition thing).

Here’s the flirting one, because it’s intrinsically the funniest.

Dragging them behind the bikesheds not included.

As you can see, these are classier young ladies than you’d meet in – say – Spectrum Education-set Classic Back To Skool, so resorting to the early 1990s-Stafford Seduction method of sharing your bottle of Thunderbird and pretending you actually like Pearl Jam is out of the question.

Which is probably a good thing.

The demo has lots of content – certainly enough to get you into the plot, and feel terrible when they leave you hanging without discovering exactly what is the game adults play by themselves and especially annoyed that it doesn’t get done until next year. It’s already in the IGF, and while there’s some balancing issues I have questions about, like the girls whose adventures it charts, it gets easily forgiven with a lot of charm and chutzpah.

Also, I want to know whether Louise will ever get together with this obvious bad boy.

Bloody anarchists

Ooh, those socialists.

__________________

« | »

, , , , , , .

23 Comments »

  1. Quinns says:

    Oh my God I’d completely forgotten that time I unsuccessfully tried to get laid by pretending I loved Pearl Jam.

  2. Feet says:

    Pearl Jam are awesome!

    Wanna date?

  3. Leigh says:

    OMG, you chose my cigarette-smoking moll!

  4. Turin Turambar says:

    At least a good game!

    And i am not joking. It’s seems very promising :P.

  5. Theory says:

    Linking this up with Steam and signing into Friends before you play it is worth a laugh. :-)

  6. Musenik says:

    You might want to reconsider matching Louise with Rebel Boy. The other benefit boyfriends give is, their girl gets the boy’s highest talent, if it’s higher than the girl’s talent. Rebel Boy won’t give much of a talent boost to Louise. But Varsity Boy would crank up Louise’s popularity.

  7. Solario says:

    Classist.

  8. SightseeMC says:

    Found this through Manifesto Games…truly a Top 3 game I’m waiting for next year. It’s a great demo.

  9. Crispy says:

    Highly intriguing. I look forward to checking out it and other IGF finalists (surely it will be a finalist).

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let’s get to the point, people: can you beat off to it?

  11. Kast says:

    Now that is intriguing. I will be giving it a shot as soon as I get back from work.

    Oh, and am I the only person here who imagines a three way deathmatch between Pip-Boy, the Rapture poster man and Louise?

  12. terry says:

    Sweet demo, though the dialogue seems a little moon-language in parts.

  13. Kieron Gillen says:

    Leigh: In games as in life, I always choose the cigarette-smoking moll.

    Musenik: In games as in life, I’ve never been any good at tactical dating.

    Anonymous: In games as in life, you can masturbate to almost anything.

    KG

  14. Kast says:

    OK, finally finished the demo. Just two thoughts: 1) It’s certainly different. 2) It may not be very fun, but it IS strangely involving.

  15. ry says:

    “In games as in life, you can masturbate to almost anything”

    except Leisure Suit Larry, bizarrely.

  16. mda says:

    Theory: How do you link it up with Steam? Can you do it to any game? Cheers.

  17. mda says:

    Uh my bad, just noticed the Add Non-Steam Game button :P

    On another note, DHSGIT (lol?)

  18. Chis says:

    Tell me this game doesn’t require a taste for grunge music. Alice In Chains is as close as I get (because unlike Pearl Jam, they were actually good musicians)…

    Oh right. It was an anecdote. Thank god. :P

  19. matte_k says:

    Nostalgia outbreak prompts Seattle scenester bashing… :)

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>