Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
flag msg tools
Now who are these five?
badge
Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
a review of Radical School Hours


User blindspot struck a chord by saying that he reads reviews backwards, and hoped someone would write them in the backwards order. Therefore I tried reversing the order of my paragraphs. Comments welcome.

Final Comments
Radical School Hours is published by the amateur circle Manifest Destiny, designed by its main member Kuroda. I've played some other of his games, and they're all weird, every one of them, Radical School Hours is however the most interesting I've played so far. I don't know from where this guy gets his ideas (or his illustrators, the art is top notch!). Where you can get it? Short answer: Only on amateur game marketplace events in Japan, I'm afraid. Were I a publisher, I'd keep an eye on this guy's designs. The amount of novel weirdness he can squeeze out of a card box is nothing short of amazing.

Verdict
In its base, Radical School Hours is a simple game of risk management. Fill your deck with too many Event cards and you're sitting with a broken deck that fails each other turn. Be too careful and start Dating as soon as you get some events, you'll be too slow. The game is about this balance. However, this simple game turns into a weird mess once all the cards' special effects start happening. Not to mention when to activate your School Prince status.

To be honest, I don't really know what to make of this game. I'll be honest: I'm deeply impressed. Really impressed by the, at least for me, very novel way of thinking upon a card game. I've never seen its like. Currently, I've played it about three times and am longing to play more, because I'm so intrigued by this strange game. However, saying it has been extremely well received would be an exaggeration. Some have outright refused to play it again. Some have thought it to be OK but nothing specifically exciting. However, no one has had anything principally against the mechanism. Though no one has been as excited as I am, everyone has agreed that it's very very strange.

One thing is for certain, though. I've never seen a card game before that drips with so much theme. It's not just the art, not just the flavour text (which is massively abundant!), even the mechanisms in the game go hand in hand with the theme; they're so closely tied to the game that I have a hard time imagining any other theme that would fit as well. The game plays with the dating sim clichées in the most amazing way, presents something that runs completely differently, but produces about the same result. I am flabbergasted.

Which makes me think it might be that what I love isn't the gameplay, but the game's originality. Never before I've been so impressed by a little box of 96 cards. The game? Maybe it dies after ten plays, I don't know. But I don't think so. And I'm willing to try. What a strange game this is!

All the stuff the game consists of.

Rule overview
The game mixes, in a very novel way, a press-your-luck mechanism (similar to Diamant/Incan Gold) with a deck building mechanism, not unlike the mechanism in Friday. The players have decks, but they don't hold cards in their hand. Instead they draw one card at a time from their deck, playing it, until they stop or the combination of cards they've played results in a "failure".

The game consists of Activity cards (Studies, Training, etc), General events (all similar, in 3 colours) and Heroine Events (8 for each of the 6 heroines; the heroines are also in the same 3 colours as the General events). Each player gets a deck of 8 Activity cards and 6 general events (2 of each colour), to shuffle them into a private draw deck. The Heroine events are shuffled separately per Heroine and placed in six separate piles.

On a player's turn, he draws a card from his deck and plays it in front of him, forming a row, and keeps doing this until he stops voluntarily or happens to play 2 Event cards of the same colour – this results in a failure and his turn is over. If the player stopped before he failed, he can now choose between Making Impression on the heroines, or try Dating the girls he knows. If he chooses the former, he takes the Activity cards he played and distributes them freely onto the six Heroines. Once all players have had their turn, the player who put most Activity cards on a specific Heroine gains her top Event into his discard pile. The latter choice means roughly that the player takes another turn: start playing cards again, with the same recipe for failure, on a second row below the first. If he manages to avoid failure this second time, he can put all Event cards that he played on the second go, into his score pile, meaning, they're now points and are out of his draw deck forever.

Read the above again. It's weird, huh? Basically, each player gets a separate "press your luck"-go, and after that, he can choose between doing impressions (and hopefully gaining Heroine event cards into his deck) or dating (moving event cards into his score pile). At the end of the game, the player with most Event cards in his score pile wins. Each card is worth 1 point, with a bonus 3 points if you had all 4 unique Events for a certain Heroine.

Of course, that's not all there is to it. All heroine events have the power that another event from the same heroine does not cause failure, but they also have a unique special effect each: Some guard you against failure for a special colour, others let you do bad stuff to other players, some forces you to discard certain played cards. This results in quite the chaos, especially since the Heroine events are gained at random.

And if that wasn't enough, the Heroines can become the player's girlfriends: if a player when Making Impressions places a certain combination of activity cards on a Heroine, she will become his girlfriend and will bestow upon him her special power, to be used once per turn and that are quite game-breaking all of them.

But wait, it's not over. No, I'm not kidding. Once per game, a player can become School Prince for a certain number of rounds. While a player is School Prince, he has a special guard against failure for a certain colour, he blocks other players from gaining Events of that colour and can specify a girlfriend who won't leave him as long as he is Prince. Sounds weird? It is.


The six Heroines. Swedish paste-ups.

Game theme overview
Radical School Hours is a game which roughly simulates "dating simulations" for PC and consoles; the kind of game where the player has some different stats, like math, art, training, social life, looks and so on, and gets to decide for one week at a time what activity to focus on, trying to raise these stats. At the start, days tick by with nothing happening, but as the stats rise, the player starts encountering various girls; these encounters are triggered by having a certain stat go above a certain level. At this point, the player can date the girl, and if the date is successful, her love stat for the player will rise. Balancing raising your stats, and dating several girls simultaneously, taking care of not upsetting anyone is the hard part, and at the end, the player gets an ending sequence where the girl with the highest love stat for him confesses her love.

Radical School Hours emulates this in a card game form, however most is omitted. Instead, the game is about trying to collect as many "heroine events" as possible, each is worth points, and the player with the most points at the end is considered to have had the best high school experience.

Components
A deck of cards. Decent print, but not rounded edges. Comes in a tuck box that won't fit the cards once they're sleeved which they must be done unless every player can read Japanese.

Introduction
I have a soft spot for home made games. Having about 250 games (exluding expansions) in my collection, I've found I'm more fascinated by the rough edges of home made stuff. Be it bad or good, it's always pretty special and it's always made with pure heart. No "this won't sell" or "rehashed mechanisms" or "too strange mechanisms" scrutiny has been done. It's a game because it's a game.

Radical School Hours is such a game. This can only be done at home. I don't think any publisher would dare publish this; it's just too strange.

13 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Schenck
United States
Dayton
Ohio
flag msg tools
GO BUCKS!
badge
Stop touching me!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like the reverse order!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I quite enjoyed that. Thank you!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew Hicks
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I see you have translations for the cards. Do you also have translated rules? Where did you get these items?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
nyn -
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow - my daughter would love this! I MUST get a copy!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
flag msg tools
Now who are these five?
badge
Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
AnEvenWeirderMove wrote:
I see you have translations for the cards. Do you also have translated rules? Where did you get these items?


Did them myself (rules and cards). I was about to say that they can be found here, but just now I see that I seem to have forgotten to upload them. At any rate, the English version is still to be done. It's coming – eventually (should the weird situation occur that anyone would find any use of them).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew Hicks
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I will find a way to create a copy of this game, since it would seem to be next to impossible to get a real copy.

The mechanics seem so awesome to me... Friday seemed like a cool game but this... the theme is funny and humorous, and the neat combination of pool-building with push-your-luck mechanics seems to be sort of original.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Liu
Taiwan
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Looks interesting, maybe I'll look into buying some of their titles next time I'm attending GameMarket...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sergio Macias
Spain
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I just got the game this morning laugh Time to resume working in translating the swedish paste-ups Zimeon so kindly provided
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.