The gameplay in the High School Musical DVD Game
is fairly straightforward. Simply place the DVD in your chosen player, computer or compatible gaming system, then wait for the Main Menu to appear - keep waiting, just a little bit more, go cook some dinner, take a short nap (come on Disney, why must we be subjected to 10 minutes of previews each and every time we want to play a game?). Once you finally arrive at the Main Menu, you are given four options: Quick Start, How To Play, Sneak Peeks, and Credits. If you have played The Hannah Montana DVD Game
, these will look eerily similar. The "Quick Start" option allows players to immediately begin playing the games (see below for details). The "How To Play" option offers step-by-step narrated descriptions on how to play each game. However, this description is once again offered before you start each game, so including it at this point seems a bit unnecessary. "Sneak Peeks" gives access to 11 trailers/advertisements for various Disney products, many of which you may have sat through before the game began, and "Credits" is, well, the credits.
The game itself is broken into 11 mini-games. Of these, 6 can be played by 1-4 players, 2 are designed for 2-4 players and the final 3 are specifically meant for 4 or more contestants. The Main Game is a turn-based trivia game in which players take turns answering questions based upon the three movies. These questions are presented in both text-based and video clip form. The game is slow-paced and, while my co-reviewers could answer almost all of the questions, they did have some difficulty reading a few of them, so younger players may need some help from adults or older siblings. Other games for 1-4 players include "Prom Night", in which players are taught a series of dancing moves to songs from the movies, a memory challenge and several career placement quizzes. My daughters, who are our household equivalent of pop-stars, immediately gravitated to the "Center Stage" game, which is a karaoke-style sing-a-long featuring 7 songs from the trilogy.
The three games designed for 4 or more players are stylized versions of the classic board games Taboo, Charades and Pictionary. "Wildcat Tryouts" is the one game that really seems out of place. Participants in this game must shoot a series of five basketball shots, the winner being the one with the highest score after the rounds are completed. While not a bad game, it did not seem in line with the other games and just feels like a half-hearted attempt to attract a different audience.