#JamForLeelah, a Trans-Positive Global Game Jam!

A new month-long trans-positive game jam is currently underway and accepting submissions for games focusing on trans youth issues, in order to spread awareness of the issues faced by transgender people in modern society.

#JamForLeelah was organise…

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Mean Girls. The Video Game.

This is so fetch.

It’s been 10 years since Mean Girls first hit screens, becoming an instant classic that is as quotable as it is hilarious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference a line from the movie, use a .gif of Regina George to respond to something, note that the limit does not exist, or chastise someone for trying to make something happen that’s not going to happen. This is one of those movies that truly defines a generation.

Today it finally becomes a video game. Cue every gay squee noise I can muster.

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Via So Much Drama Studios:

“If You Have Ever Felt Personally Victimized by Regina George, This Game is For You

Designed as an easily accessible ‘tiara-defense’ game, Mean Girls finds the original Plastics at peace with their world, when a new upstart Plastics clique attempts to take control of North Shore High School by piecing together the broken Spring Fling Tiara. Players can select from eight of their favorite Mean Girls characters—Cady, Regina, Gretchen, Karen, Janis, Damian, Aaron, and Kevin, each with their own distinct boost abilities—and all the cliques from the cafeteria, to help defeat opponents and complete each level.”

The mobile “tiara-defense” game is not unlike your standard tower-defender: You place troops, you set up traps, and you keep the oncoming hoards of enemies away from their goal. Only this time around your troops are who you hang out with and the enemies are the opposing cliques.

Comic mean girls

While it may not seem like an obvious genre to slap the Mean Girls name on, it’s actually quite clever. Just as in the original film the cafeteria is a carefully mapped out warzone, with factions ranging from the Varsity jocks to the girls who eat their feelings to the burnouts to the Plastics. And just as Lindsay Lohan’s Katy Herron went to war with Regina George, players will go to war to protect their tiara from those who’d try to snatch it away.

Does this sound like the most fabulous game ever, or does this sound like the most fabulous game ever? Who would come up with such a game? None other than So Much Drama’s Jeff Medor, creator of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Dragopolis, one of our gayest games of the year two years running. As was the case with Dragopolis, Mr. Meador isn’t trying to make a lazy licensed tie-in game…he wants this to be a product that true fans will enjoy through and through.

Mean Girls is hilarious, brutal, and endlessly quotable; I absolutely loved watching and re-watching the film,” said Jeff Meador, founder and president, So Much Drama. “The game is rich with the quirky humor, over-the-top high school power struggles, and everything from hilarious lines, peppermint foot cream, to, yes, the Burn Book.”

Burn Book mean girls

No matter which clique players belong to, from band geeks and preps to regulation hotties, Mean Girls offers seven different ways to play including gameplay modes such as You Can’t Sit With Us, Social Suicide, She Doesn’t Even Go Here, and The Limit Does Not Exist.”

Mean Girls is slated for release on mobile platforms soon. I bet it will make for a great candy-gram.

And none for Gretchen Weiners. Bye.

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GGOTY 2014: Gayest Games of the Year

Last year our Gayest Games of the Year list was quite popular, so why not do it again? Especially when 2014 has been an even bigger year for gay games than last year. While many of the 2013 titles had major queer themes not all of them had explicitly…

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A different kind of Elven Rogue: a look at Sera

Note: This is the third in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Sera’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including her ultimate romance sub-quest.

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The Legend of Korra series finale was a big win for gay geeks

If you haven’t already been hit with spoilers regarding the finale of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra be forewarned that this post is going to be chock full of spoilers from the moment you click ‘read more’. You have been warned.

The …

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A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest…

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Review: Coming Out On Top

You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody t…

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A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub…

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April 9
2013

Best Of The Bargain Bin: Catherine

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If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my gaming life, it’s that difficulty settings are absolute nonsense – or if you’re feeling especially charitable, “highly subjective.” Sometimes hard mode is the most leisurely of walks in the park; sometimes medium difficulty results in a tour de force of clinical masochism. Then, there is Catherine, one of the few games in recent memory that bolsters my long-standing argument that there should be a difficulty setting above “very hard,” simply called, “Japan.” Indeed, Catherine hates you: It hates your smugness, mocks your persistence, and does everything in its power to compel you to leave a fist-shaped dent in your television.

In the interest of full disclosure, yours truly has the spatial intelligence of a comatose four year-old. Nonetheless, after many Red Bulls, many meetings of controller and wall, and enough profanity to warrant a maternal scolding, the dread specter of Catherine found herself thoroughly and utterly vanquished – and all things considered, it was a worthwhile affair. 

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For those living under several piles of rocks beneath several feet of sand, Catherine is a schizophrenic sort of game. Part dating sim, part puzzler, the game puts you in the shoes of Vincent: a callow, confused man coming to terms with his belated ascent into adulthood. Complicating matters is his relationship with his girlfriend, Katherine. Vincent is, while slightly adorable, a rather contemptible creature. He’s miserable, pathologically avoidant, and on the whole, a slave to his own doubts and neuroses: fearing this domineering she-beast from beyond the vale of space and time – masquerading as a mature, goal-oriented woman – seeking to imprison him in a prison of matrimony from which there is no escape. Complicating matters is the appearance of “Catherine,” the sexy psychotic to his dependable ladyfriend. Said psychotic quickly becomes the third point in Vincent’s love triangle, as his many alcohol-induced dissociative fugues find him in a steamy affair, thus compounding his confusion, adding layers of guilt, and putting him in danger of becoming the latest casualty of a string of deaths in the city – one that has been killing unfaithful men. Soon enough, fair Vincent finds himself waging dream battles against babies, disembodied hands, and all other manner of subconscious demons. All the while, he shares his plight with fellow men (who appear to be sheep in the mind’s eye), each seeking to escape the collective nightmare – in other words, an average Thursday night.

Yet at its heart, Catherine is a puzzler, and for the most part, it takes to the task quite well. The mechanics are simple enough: the player is faced with a wall of blocks, and rearranges them to create a path to the top of the level. It’s simple, intuitive, and immediately accessible. New techniques can be learned from the sheep, and most (if not all) end up being rather useful. You can skip these if you like, but each new technique tends to have applications for the corresponding level – and if you go blindly into the fray, you often find yourself presented with a seemingly-insurmountable challenge. In this way, Catherine does what all good puzzlers do: starting from a very simple mechanic – dragging and placing blocks – and gradually growing in complexity as the hours wear on, while remaining grounded enough that gameplay never becomes obtuse.

Much of the hair-pulling involved in Catherine comes not because the game is unfair – save for a cheap kill every now and again but from the fact that it requires you recall the array of facts under duress: battling the clock as you try to visualize the path that will eventually unfold, provided your peon brain can piece together the various techniques needed to bring it about. Chances are, your failures stem less from some fundamental unfairness, and more because you weren’t quick, clever, or perceptive enough – and while repeated deaths bring with it the spiral of frustration and self-loathing that come with the realization that you might in fact be an invalid, the eventual victory brings with it a sense of accomplishment typically reserved for games of old.

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If you haven’t played Catherine, it’s definitely worth the asking price. On Amazon, copies of both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions can be found for less than $30. For those that prefer retail, Gamestop used Xbox 360 and PS3 copies will run you $24.99 and $29.99, respectively.

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About Jesse Gmitro

(Writer) Jesse Gmitro is the self-proclaimed "resident ally/lady-fancier" of gaygamer.net -- a position he has held since 2011 - and a shameless fanboy of Metal Gear, pre-Homecoming Silent Hill, and Final Fantasy. He plays drums in a local post-rock band called "Between Two Skies," and is currently working on a black comedy novella, "The Madcap Laughs." He currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

One Response

  1. avatar Daniel K says:

    Catherine’s in the “Bargain Bin” now? When I bought it a year and a half ago, I payed the premium of about $70 for it… On the plus side, it came with the soundtrack (including only the classical-inspired songs played during the nightmare stages) and a nice little artbook.

    But, I consider it worth every penny. I played it with my sister and enjoyed it immensely. While the sexiness of the female characters is good for your average straight gamer, my sister and I still enjoyed watching Vincent scamper around in his undies, as well as the cuteness of his drinking buddies.

    We also enjoyed the questions at the end of each stage, and how if you’re connected, you can see how others answered.

    It’s easily one of the oddest games I’ve ever played, but I loved it!

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