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Mean Girls

Score: 50%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Legacy Interactive
Developer: Legacy Interactive
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/ RPG

Graphics & Sound:

Mean Girls is based off the 2004 movie of the same name. The game delivers on high school drama, but not so much on originality. I'd love to see games like this do well, but there's just not much here.

Mean Girls is an exercise in bad Flash animation if I ever saw one. True, if you add movement to graphics, it usually adds interest, but there's nothing more than a standard left tilt or a right tilt applied to certain body parts. So you've basically got everyone tilting their heads or their arms back and forth the entire game. The artwork also commits a few crimes against anatomy. It's either that or some of the characters in the game had growth spurts in random places on opposite sides of their bodies. There are some interesting character designs, and there are a few highlights in artwork, but it's inconsistent at best.

There's a pop-rock song titled "Wise Up" by Kay Hanley and Jonny Mead in the opening sequence of the game. The rest of the game's soundtrack is less than memorable generic rock and techno beats. Characters make exclamations and say short lines during fights, but other than that, there is no voice acting in the game.


Mean Girls loosely follows events of the movie. You choose an avatar and a name for your character, who is the transfer student who spent her childhood in Africa. You meet up with Janis and Damian, who become your allies. They also think it would be good to use you to spy on the Plastics, the super-popular group of girls who run the school. So you walk the line between being a mean girl and a good girl, doing favors for the Plastics and going ever deeper into enemy territory.

Mean Girls stays pretty true to the spirit of a teen drama, but it's probably not as much fun to read endless lines of dialogue as it is to watch the movie. The story is told exclusively through dialogue boxes. It's akin to watching paper dolls that occasionally get moved to different backgrounds. If there were at least some different emotional expressions, it would make things at least a bit more interesting.

Mean Girls is basically a Puzzle Quest clone with a Mean Girls theme. You'll be building your character's stats and learning new skills to use in each puzzle fight. You can "hurt" your opponent in two different ways. You either line up a row of whip blocks and attack them in a mean way, or you line up hearts to try to win them over to your side in a good way. There isn't much advantage to winning a fight in either way, but it will change the way your good/bad meter swings. There's an option to do a quick match if you'd just like to get into a puzzle battle without having to go through quests and dialogue. Once again, this is so much like Puzzle Quest that you may just want to refer to a review of that game. Well, you would except that there is no multiplayer option in Mean Girls. This game is also missing the option to buy accessories or clothing. Too bad, now I can't call it Mean Quest or Puzzle Girls.


At normal level and below, opponents will miss almost every key opportunity to hurt you, even if you practically line up a row for them. Even at the hardest difficulty, it seems like the opponent will miss some good combinations. That doesn't mean that they become pushovers. If you've ever played Puzzle Quest, you'll recognize the classic attack of endless strings of 4 block combinations that your opponent will pull at any time possible.

Leveling up will give you the opportunity to obtain some vital skills to defend yourself with. This makes the game less of a game of chance and more of a strategy game, but it can also assure easy wins when luck is on your side.

Lack of a timer also takes some pressure off. In the end, you can try over and over, and you can change the difficulty of the game on the fly, so you should have no problem finishing this game, if that's your goal.

Game Mechanics:

Mean Girls is a simple point-and-click game, so game mechanics don't have much of an opportunity to shine here. When you aren't clicking on blocks during the puzzle parts of the game, you'll be clicking on areas of the map to guide your character to a new battle. In fact, you don't have to do even this much, as you can simply click on the new quest and your character will automatically walk to the new location.

Even so, there are minor annoyances here. You'll sometimes be clicking through lines of dialogue and the box will shift from the top to the bottom, swapping places with the "skip" button. It would be frustrating if you were clicking through, reading the story, and then you suddenly click skip because it moved right under your mouse button.

This is casual gaming with a very light RPG framework. It may swap heart blocks for red gems and high school girls for barbarian warriors, but it's still Puzzle Quest light. If you don't mind the blatant rip-off or if you are a die-hard Mean Girls fan, you may get a few hours of enjoyment out of this. Otherwise, it's no more compelling in story or gameplay, so there's no reason waste your time with this one.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows(r) XP or Vista 1 GHz processor, 1 GB available RAM, 32 MB Video Card RAM, DirectX

Test System:

Windows XP, 3.20 GigaHertz Intel Pentium 4, 4 GB Ram, RADEON X850, Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS

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