Review by TheSAMMIES

Reviewed: 02/05/14

How Do I Let You Know?

Warning! Private School is a pornographic adventure game. If you’re too young to play adult video games or if you don’t want to play adult video games, then you should skip this one. It’s also in Japanese and it is an untranslated adventure game with a text parser, so you need some good knowledge of Japanese to really enjoy this game. Those two big warnings are out of the way, so now anyone who is still interested can read further on this flawed curiosity known as Private School.

When I bought this game, I thought that it was going to be a video game adaptation of Private School, an 80s sex comedy movie that I really enjoyed for how cheesy and bad it was. Once I got over that disappointment, I found Private School to be an interesting, if flawed text adventure game that gives a nice look into the earlier days of what Japanese adventure games were like.

Story- Private School is about a guy trying to get into an all-girl’s private school so that he can have sex with some of the women. It plays out like your typical sex comedy game and has you getting into crazy situations and having to figure out how exactly you’re going to get out of them. A lot of the comedy comes from character’s reactions and the game trying to throw unexpected stuff at you. It’s kind of funny if you think about it, but some of the jokes kind of fall flat.

While some adventure games have really good stories, Private School’s isn’t exactly a classic. It’s pretty stupid and is more of a vessel to get jokes and pictures of large breasted cartoon women on your computer screen. Plot is only secondary and even then it’s a little shallow compared to some of Elf’s more plot driven games.

Presentation- Private School has a very interesting art style. Some characters look like realistic human beings with relatively normal proportions. Then others have oversized noses, eyes, and heads. One guy in particular has a head that’s half the size of the rest of his body. It’s kind of weird seeing them next to each other, but you get used to it by the time the game’s over.

The art itself is drawn in only a handful of colors. The MSX had some serious graphical limitations, so you have to expect this sort of thing when reviewing games for the system. There’s also some seriously tinny music going on during the game. It gets annoying after a while, but otherwise is okay.

Gamplay- Private School is an old school text adventure. You type verbs into the text parser and hope that it’s the correct verb to advance the plot. You get a handful of verbs for you to choose from, as only a limited number of them work. If you screw up too bad and type in the wrong verbs in the wrong situation, you’ll end up getting either a bad ending or a “game over”. Private School is pretty good about telling you what exactly you did that was wrong when you screw up, so the game isn’t too challenging.

There are two main problems that hold Private School back. The first is that the game in incredibly linear. You don’t get to do very much exploration, making the game feel a bit cramped. Second, you don’t get much room for error. If you don’t do the right thing at the right time, the game can become impossible to complete. It’s very frustrating. I suggest that if you play this, you see if you can find a walkthrough or something. They’re hard to find, even in Japanese, but if you can get one, it will be your best friend.

The linear gameplay coupled with the little room for error means that you will end up trying to see which verb works through trial and error. You’ll end up repeating the same few scenes again to try to get it right often, which is tedious, to say the least. A “save anywhere” system would have helped Private School a lot. Frustrations aside, it’s still an enjoyable text adventure, provided that you have the knowledge of Japanese required to play. Still, you could do much better than this. There are far less flawed adventure games out there to play.

Cool Fact- The verbs that you type into the text parser are in English. Other old Japanese text adventures did this, but it is cool to think that this game isn’t all in Japanese.

Also Try- Alpha, an old text adventure by Squaresoft, is about as good as Private School and has a far more engaging story. Its linearity is more frustrating, but for a pornographic Japanese text adventure, it’s pretty good. Wait, Squaresoft made a hentai game? Yep. Check it out if that piques your interest too.

Rating: 6

Product Release: Private School (JP, 12/31/89)

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