Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble turns out to be an excellent game to play on a laptop on the bus — much moreso than the last game I tried playing that way. There’s nothing realtime about it, and nothing requiring precision. The necessary context is minimal, in terms of both gameplay and plot — like in Chrono Trigger, the story all happens in the moment, and builds in unpredictable directions rather than bending toward an inevitable climax. And somehow, the game just makes the bus ride go faster. I settle in to play a few mini games, and all of the sudden I’m home.
It seems like the main complaint about the game in other reviews was that it got monotonous after a while. The mini-games don’t provide a lot of variety — far less than a typical modern combat-based RPG, because those are always full of special-case monsters that require you to vary your tactics (until you become powerful enough to just brute-force your way through them, anyway). This is something that would be good to address in any future game inspired by DHSGiT‘s mechanics. But even here, it’s really only an issue if you’re trying to play it in long sessions, like you would a normal CRPG. My first two sessions, back in January, were like that. Playing on the bus means shorter sessions, and that seems to be the way to play this game for maximal enjoyment — as well as being just plain healthier than obsessive marathon play.
It all makes me think that this game, or some development of it, would be a good match for cell phones. The UI seems pretty touchscreen-friendly already. I wonder if the developers have even considered this possibility? I wouldn’t be surprised if they had already given up on the idea of getting it into the iTunes App Store, considering their experiences with Big Fish, which removed the game from their catalog on the basis of “some strong sexual content towards the end of the game”. I haven’t got that far yet — I still only have access to three of the game’s four gameboards — but fans of the game insist that it’s PG-13 at most. Still, I can imagine Apple looking askance just on the basis of precedent. There’s always Android, but is it a big enough market to justify the effort of porting by itself? I don’t know.