Prep School Horrors is a bullet hell RPG style game by Adrien Dittrick. In this game, you must pass classes and take the final exam to beat the game. Whilst trying to pass class, basically everything possible tries to kill you.
The game starts out with a fantastic beginner’s trap. Most games you move from left to right, but in this game if you head right, you will get absolutely annihilated by the Hall Monitor; the toughest enemy in the entire game. The game also has a great sense of ‘what the hell is going on’. It’s not confusing to play, but when you first start it seems like your character is totally defenseless and you have no idea what you’re supposed to be doing – in part because the hall monitor will probably beat you up a fair few times before you realise you’re supposed to go the other way. There’s also a ticker at the bottom of the screen providing some commentary, saying such helpful things as ‘you can hear the screaming in the distance’, which adds a lot to the feel of the game.
To beat the game you must pass three classes – math, engineering and physics. Once you enter a class, there’s a task to complete which takes the form of collecting a few items. Whilst on your quest to collect things, everything imaginable tries to kill you. Enemies include Entropy, Your Uncertainties, Random Murder Generator, the Continuous Pain and many other fun physics and math references. The Random Murder Generator loves to kill you.
When you touch an enemy in the game, you are taken to a battle screen where you must avoid touching the enemy and its attacks. If you get hit once you have to start class again (although you retain your collected items). In battle, you move around the screen to avoid the enemy and pick up ovals which give you weapons to fight back. You auto-fire weapons so no player input is required beyond avoiding attacks. You can also pick up a permanent weapon whilst in class.
The more enemies you beat, the more you level up. This makes you faster, makes your weapons more powerful and gives your character visual changes. You can also recruit friends to help you out. These usually help you out by running into enemies and sacrificing themselves, but they can also pick up weapons to fight and they can collect permanent weapons too. If you have some friends with you and enter math class, your friends will get picked off randomly whilst walking through the level. Very sad, but that is the nature of math class.
There’s a ‘correct way’ to pass each class, and depending how you do in each class, you will get one of 8 endings, which are all just as surreal as the rest of the game. I’ve seen about 4 of them, I tried to get true ending but I accidentally killed the engineering teacher.
The final exam is a pretty tough battle, but I thought getting to the exam is actually the harder part. It provides a good challenge and there’s a fantastic background music track with a vocalist – something pretty rarely seen in video games. I’m a huge fan of the song and it fits really well. As I mentioned earlier, The Hall Monitor is truly the most difficult enemy in the game, so fight them if you want a real challenge.
Overall, it’s a great game with some really fun design and it’s filled with great ideas for enemies. It’s also got a very uniquely surreal feel about it. It’s playable in browser and on mobile and takes about half an hour to beat, so I highly recommend checking it out!
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