Brooktown High: Senior Year Review


Brooktown High is a simulation of high school dating Ö well, a simulation of high school clichťs at least. You play the new kid at school and need to work your way up from an unknown nobody to one of the popular kids in the in crowd.  You begin the game by answering a set of questions that are used to determine your personality scores. Itís not too hard to see where the game is going with its questions while youíre taking the test as the game divides the student body into four cliques: jocks, nerds, preps, and rockers. It doesnít really matter all that much where you are placed after you take the test Ė your personality can be easily modified in the game simply by taking certain classes at school or signing up for an extracurricular activity.

The game revolves around a week of school and each week pretty much plays out in the same way. You wake up in your room on Monday morning and from there you can pick out your outfit for the week or use your computer to shop online for new clothes or gifts to woo the ladies (or guys). Thereís not really much else you can do from your room, so on most weeks youíll just click on the bedroom door and head to school. Once at school youíll have a half hour until classes begin during which you can meet and socialize with the other students. Thatís a half hour of game time, so in reality you barely have time to talk to one student, two if youíre lucky. Since the students randomly mill about in front of the school and in its halls, thereís not really any way for you to find a particular student that youíre interested in speaking with. Youíll just have to run up to the first one you can find and then try to quickly start another conversation before the bell goes off. Once the bell does go off itís a mad scramble to get to a classroom and pick your class for the week. Yes, at Brooktown High you take the same class for five days straight. As it just so happens, there are four classes available at Brooktown and each one corresponds to one of the schoolís four cliques. For example, youíll want to take gym to fit in with the jocks or physics to score points with the nerds. You donít do anything for the classes Ė you just pick one and the next thing you know itís Saturday and youíre a week closer to graduation.

The conversations that you have with your classmates are multiple choice sequences in which you choose your response to each statement made by your classmate. Itís not hard to determine the best answer to give in each case; itís simply a matter of telling the other person what they want to hear. In a way this is a sim of the way some people swim their way through the dating pool, but between this and the gameís clichťd personalities the game offers a subtlely jaded look at the high school dating scene.

Tell a schoolmate what she wants to hear enough times and youíll be able to ask her out on a date. A date is essentially an extended version of the preschool conversations where the choices are again pretty straightforward to make. Dating a prep? Take her to the mall and go shopping for clothes. Not a tough choice to make, right?  You'll be kissing your way to the top of the social heap in no time.

And so it goes for the rest of the school year. Talk to as many students as possible, try to get dates with them, and keep repeating the process. Thereís no interaction in your classes or extracurrilar activities, so you basically move from one multiple choice conversation to the next. Once you reach the end of the school year youíre performance is evaluated and youíre told where you end up in lifie. Thank goodness that only in a game does your senior year in high school determine the course of the rest of your life.  I'd be in a lot of trouble right now otherwise...

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 55%. Thereís not enough gameplay and too much repetition in this high school game Ö perhaps in that way itís too much like the real thing.

 





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