Mini Impressions: Kindergarten

Kindergarten is sort of hard to explain, it’s somewhat of an adventure game that takes place in, of course, Kindergarten. Despite the age of the characters, the humor is very adult as is the overall story and gore level.

In playing the game, you spend a day going through, meeting the kids in class, and finding out what they want or need for you to do. As you play through you, unlock hints that will help you to complete a quest line for a character. The day ends when you see it through or die in one of many horrific ways. Once the day ends you restart the same day, keeping some of the progress from your last attempt. So money and story items you unlock will stay with you as long as you fully complete a day and don’t just die.

What happens is, you unfold a unique way of playing a game and unlocking progress. As an example (spoiler-ish) Cindy is one of the first characters that you can complete her story as it does not require story items or any money. You talk to her, make progress, and finally will find the solution to complete the series of tasks she gives you. Once this is accomplished she gifts you with a flower. From that point forward you have the option of bringing the flower along with you to complete tasks for other characters, and some characters stories can only be unlocked once you have the flower. Cindy is one of many characters, and her flower is one of many items.

So the game is set up that you repeat the same day over and over each time learning something new about what each character wants/expects from you so that you complete the storyline for the characters. It’s a compelling way to play a game, though it can be challenging at times. A lot of days will be wasted while on this quest and guides aren’t the worst thing to refer to. It’s still a great way to design a game.

Each character’s story also reveals a little more about the completely (pardon my language) fucked up school you are attending. Why is the janitor hell-bent on killing kids? And what is the special ingredient in this muffins? Why is the principal handing out pills like candy? What happened to the missing Billy? Also, why is a kindergartner getting killed in the many horrific ways you can die in the game?

By the time you finish all the storylines, you will reveal an interesting, if not messed up, story that I enjoyed. The journey there has some questionable humor, with a few of the jokes feeling more offensive than actually funny, but overall I enjoyed it. I like that it takes the South Park approach of packing disturbing stuff in what is meant to be a kid-friendly package.

Bottom line, if you have a slightly perverse sense of humor and don’t mind having to replay events over and over to slowly unlock more progress, this game is for you. It’s funny, the art isn’t bad, and while it can get stale, once you start to piece the puzzles together you’ll find yourself making real progress. It is short but also doesn’t have too stiff of a price tag. It’s not my favorite game out there but entertaining and damn funny.

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