Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
A game so old that Kieron wrote about it before running away to join the X-Men, or whatever it is he does these days. Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble isn’t quite a product of the Jazz Age that it so stylishly emulates, but it does date from the distant year of 2007.
Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble is a parlour game that has never graced a parlour. It’s a boardgame that never sat heavy upon a board. Set in a high school with a population of flappers, vamps, sophisticates and boys. With your chosen team of dangerous girls, you’ll navigate the turbulent waters of etiquette, rough-housing and petty politics, as well as the mysterious world of adults and the unpleasant games that they play.
I’ll refer to the game as DHSGIT from here on in, even though that might look like a slur directed at a smug man in an advert for a sofa.
DHSGIT’s strength is in its writing and sense of place, but it doesn’t just create a pretty pastiche of the past. The japes of the first act have shadows thrown across them as the story develops and the ‘Trouble’ of the title becomes very troubling indeed. There’s a rare sense of jollity in many of the exchanges though and while not directly comparable in many ways, DHSGIT is one of the few games that can be comfortably mentioned in the same sentence as Wodehouse.
That would be recommendation enough, but there are also clever systems at play. While the abstract exchanges might become repetitive before the game is done, there’s satisfaction to be found in mastery of the girls’ various wits and wiles. DHSGIT is one of the few original boardgame’s made for PC and it’s a convincing replica of a beautiful object that never existed.