Review: Science Girls

Review: Science Girls
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Platforms:

PC, Mac, Linux

Game Name:

Science Girls

Publisher(s):

Hanako Games

Developer(s):

Spiky Caterpillar

Genre(s):

RPG

Release Date:

May 28, 2009

Science Girls – What We Think

A swarm of alien plant life invades a local high school. Their reign of terror sends the teaching staff running for the hills. Though most students have left at the close of the school day, the representatives of the Science Club are on hand. By using their science-based attacks, they alone have to power to drive back this leafy legion.

Though the premise of a science heavy spin on a classic JRPG sounds meaty, this manga narrative quest game is merely a side salad. The manga visuals do little to elevate the mundane and poorly designed turn-based battle layouts.

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What are they all looking at?

Social Experiment

You’ll start with two Science Club members, though other members are scattered throughout the school during the initial attack. Once you manage to find them, they join your collective, adding their specialized abilities to the overall power of your team.

The majority of the action requires navigating the halls and entering classrooms in the search of teammates. Most of these explorations will result in a battle. Once you’ve amassed more than 3 girls to your cause, you’ll have to choose which ones appear in the front or back rows during a fight. Only the 3 foremost girls can attack or take damage, and any characters occupying a back row can do little more than amass one tech point per combat round.

While leveling up replenishes a party member, she will also only net one skill point. As there is only ever one of these per level, the skill advancements that await with each “ding” leave little to get excited about.

Physics: You’re Doing it Wrong

The battle sequences are extremely bland, both in appearance and in action. The classroom graphic pixelates, and the battle ground appears as an overlay. The animations are outright crude, making use of only a couple of frames each.

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Red Mage says “Tomato”, Biologist says “To-MAH-to”

The science angle barely manifests in the way specialized attacks are administered. Ultimately, there isn’t anything unique about the techniques other than names derived from the various schools of thought. Instead of magic, just say science.

Also, do yourself a favor and turn off the battle cries. The option exists, and I advise you to make use of it. The over-the-top Japanese caterwauling is fitful and out of place. The quality of the sound clips is so amateurish that I can’t tell if the desired point is authenticity or to spoof the genre.

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She Blanded Me With Science

Some may find the setup amusing enough to tolerate the technical shortcomings; while the story mechanics are passable, all other aspects work against the final product. Frequent missed attacks result in rounds of combat that are maddeningly tiresome and repetitive, even for a turn-based RPG.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Get Science Girls on Steam

Adam Fimio

AKA Callabrantus [Toronto, Canada] has been an avid gamer since playing his first arcade game when he was two years old. Years later, he still dives into games on a daily basis hoping to recreate the high from that first hit.

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