Skool Daze

by Paul Morrison


Your school days, it's been said, are the happiest days of your life. I'd like to suggest that whoever said it was home-schooled and educated by a 19-year-old French female au pair, because nothing is further from the truth. You're covered in spots, your voice doesn't know whether to be baritone or contralto, and just as you're getting interested in girls you find that they're already going out with lads that left school years ago and wouldn't be seen dead doing so much as even talking to you in a social capacity.

Nope, your school days are pretty horrible, when all's said and done. All you can hope for is the occasional little victory. And that's where Skool Daze, one of the most ingenious games of all time, comes into the equation.

Harsh. I've just taken a blow to the head, and that smug-looking git dishes out lines?  Someone will pay...

Harsh. I've just taken a blow to the head, and that smug-looking git dishes out lines?  Someone will pay...

Eric is a typical schoolkid. He doesn't really want to go, but he makes his way there every day, hoping to just get through the day with the minimum of hassle. Life isn't like that though, and he finds himself being annoyed by the class bully, the class swot, and those annoying teachers. Worse, Eric hasn't exactly had the best of years academically, and if the headmaster sees his report, he'll tan Eric's hide.

Obviously, that would be bad. So Eric hatches a plan that will make sure that doesn't happen... he's going to steal his report from the school safe! That won't be as easy as it sounds though, as the combination to the safe is held by the teachers! But there is a way to get them to reveal their secrets...

The thing is, once you start playing, that's barely relevant. The fun comes from playing the game your way. It starts with the brilliant ability to name the main characters after your friends, enemies and teachers. The game is so much more fun when you knock that bully from school on his arse.

This is gonna hurt him more than it hurts me.  I'll teach him a lesson he won't forget...

This is gonna hurt him more than it hurts me.  I'll teach him a lesson he won't forget...

Scribbling on blackboards and getting away with it is fantastic fun, too. You couldn't have done it at school, but here you can write whatever you like and, as long as you're not caught, you can sit in your lesson and snigger.  Who didn't name the teachers after their least favourites at school, then snigger as they wrote "MR RICHARDSON SHAGS GOATS!!!" on his blackboard?

Skool Daze is yet another classic example of the brilliant imaginations and creativity within so many of our Eighties programmers. It's also one of the first games where you got more fun out of not playing it properly. It's fondly remembered by so many of us, and with good right. It gets an A+ from me.

Just missed: Ant Attack, Bomb Jack, Commando, Exolon, The Great Escape, Rex, Starquake, Stop the Express, Tranz Am, Trashman