This title was reviewed on PC, but is also available for Android.
Skool Daze Reskooled is a sandbox game made by Alternative Software for mobile and PC. For those who don’t know the Skool Daze franchise goes way back, with a simple concept of being a mischievous kid in school trying to fend for himself between bullies and teachers that have it out for him. Now I wasn’t around back when the first game came out in 1984, but back then it was much easier to make a good game. Video games were new, every idea was new, and almost anything, no matter how simple, could be fun since people were not used to playing video games. But now the bar is set higher, can an effectively unchanged 30+ year old formula still hold up?
Now, I get that this game is trying to maintain the feel of the older title, but it’s important to remember that most old games were very restricted in their design by technical limitations. I see no reason why the spirit and feel of the game could not have been maintained whilst updating the mechanics to work better. You’ll be asked to do things like knock someone down on the floor to jump on them and reach something, but the controls are bad and the people stay on the floor for exactly 0.487 seconds. The teachers will penalise you for pretty much everything. There are penalties for being late, which makes sense, but being late actually means entering the class more than a second later than the teacher, sometimes it takes at least that much just to get to a desk from the door. They penalise other students too but not nearly as much as you which means that if for example a teacher sees a student punch another student, they will penalise him, but if they see a student punching you right in front of them, only you will be penalised for being on the floor. It’s also not very clear how the teachers’ vision works. Obviously if you do something right in front of them they will see you but sometimes they can see you although they’re halfway up a set of stairs or if you’re behind them. It’s very unclear about what you can and cannot do.
The music and sound effects are generally bad. I get that a lot of them are made to sound similar to the original title’s 8 bit sounds, but again, that’s a concession the designers made back then due to technical limitations, not because they wanted to. Couple that with the fact that your very existence constitutes a rule violation and you’re bombarded with a cacophony of sounds laid over the simplistic and repetitive sound track.
As a mobile game first and foremost, the controls suffer. It’s something I have discussed previously that games made for both mobile and PC/Console almost always suffer in the controls department, In this case PC got the short end of the stick. There is controller support though I did not try it. It’s not that movement is that complex to begin with, but in certain areas like where jumping or aiming is required the problems are evident. The long list of unintuitive controls does not help either.
Maybe the problem is that I was never a fan of the original game, maybe there’s something I don’t get. Maybe someone who did play the original games in their childhood will appreciate this release more than I do. For me however, Skool Daze Reskooled is just not that fun. Maybe some things are better left buried in the past.