Summer Schoolgirls

Make New Friends & Keep the Old, One is Silver and the Other One's Gold

Demo Download
System Requirements:
Win 98+/ 16MB VRAM/ DirectX 8+
Hanako Games

Georgina Okerson specializes in light adventure games with anime-style graphics that are designed to appeal primarily to a young adult female audience (but that are perfectly enjoyable by those of us with a Y chromosome). In Summer Schoolgirls, you play a recent high school graduate going to an orientation program at an women's college, where you meet your roommate and the other girls in your dorm.

It feels something like a "choose-your-own ending" book, in that your choices are mostly multiple choice, although between classes, you can choose where to go on campus. Each of the five other girls in your dorm has a secret, and your goal is to make friends with your roommate, and discover hers. There's a little bit of puzzle-solving, in figuring out how to go about uncovering her secret (or those of the other girls), but this is not a game to trick up hardcore adventure gamers; rather, it's designed to appeal to a broad audience.

What strikes me about it, in particular, is the contrast with the Purple Moon games. Purple Moon (which is no longer in business) was founded a decade ago to create "games for girls," and based their first design, Rockett's New School on research into girls' play styles. The research reported that girls play mostly to make friends, rather than to compete; consequently, the game was about making friends (as this one is) -- but also was designed in such a way that all choices were equally valid, no one better than another. I watched as my daughter played and replayed it, becoming increasingly frustrated that no matter what she did, she "made friends" and succeeded in the game.

In essence, Summer Schoolgirls succeeds in a way that Rockett's New School did not because you can certainly fail: you can fail to find out a secret, and fail to become friends with your roommate. And that is, in a sense, essential; if actions do not have consequences, you don't have a game.

An interesting contrast, in any event; and if this sounds appealing, do check out Hanako Games's other titles, Cute Knight and Fatal Hearts.


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Wow, I thought I was the

Wow, I thought I was the only one who remembered Rockett's New School!

My cousin and I played together one day and tried to give her the worst day possible. We did not succeed.