"Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!"

Yeah, the title totally hooked us, too.

By Amy Benfer

Published January 7, 2009 11:01AM (EST)

So I'm still calling in every few hours to the Game Spot down the street to find out when I might be able to pick up that Wii.  And yes, allegedly, I am back at work, but in actuality, my boyfriend is playing Xbox hockey on the couch (don't tell his boss!) while I spent the morning playing this awesome girly game that contributor Lynn Harris sent in to Broadsheet over the break.

How can you not get sucked into a game called "Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!"? The title is emblazoned in appropriate pulp paperback font, of course, and the game itself is set in a girls boarding school in the 1920s. (I wasn't aware that exclusive girls boarding schools were racially integrated in the '20s, but hey, I guess this is the kind of historical revisionism that's cool with us.) To play, you choose a leader for your all-girl gang, each of whom is ranked in terms of talents: Popularity, Rebellion, Glamour and Savvy. I chose a Rebel and went with a Louise Brooks look-alike -- named, appropriately enough, Louise – with a saucy little hip thrust and a lit cigarette. Like "Mean Girls" and "SissyFight 2000," this game is big on depicting the emotional carnage schoolgirls can inflict upon one another. To win friends and cut your enemies, the girls in your gang practice "taunts" and learn "snappy comebacks." Occasionally, a challenge will involve a few rounds of poker. I scored a Dapper Boy for Louise during my first round of "flirting," but Radio Boy -- a dude with the priceless come-on line "Would you like to go into the woods and look for flying saucers?" -- didn't seem to please another one of my ladies, who kept exclaiming, "He's just too much!"

But the real fun of this game is playing the teen sleuth, à la Nancy Drew, with the option to opt out of the squeaky clean moralizing if one so chooses. The game is set in a small town, with easily scandalized "disapproving townsfolk" who are hiding unspeakable secrets under their proper exteriors. But if you can get them to speak -- by using your wits and solving word games -- you score clues that can be used to solve the puzzle. While the first hour of the demo is free, you've got to kick in $20 to download the whole game. But I'm so going to do so, Wii or no Wii. Then I'm totally taking the boyfriend in the backyard to look for flying saucers.

Amy Benfer

Amy Benfer is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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