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Surviving High School HD Gives Us a Second Chance at Popularity

Posted by Jordan Minor on August 22nd, 2011

EA Mobile’s Surviving High School has been released on a quite a few platforms. However, only the recently-released iPad version, Surviving High School HD, lets players experience this interactive adventure game’s tawdry tales of adolescence in glorious high-definition. While walking through the halls of Centerscore High, taking quizzes and talking to fellow students, the choices players make will shape their social lives. Depending on what they decide, they might end up a jock, a nerd, a popular kid or an outsider.

This free app also allows players to download free, weekly extra episodes extending the plot even further. When switching from Portrait to Landscape mode, players gain access to a decision tree which helps them plot their course throughout the story lines. Additionally, all episodes players download are archived in an illustrated visual timeline and this is all managed through the new Multi-Touch interface.

Completing the illusion is the ability for Surviving High School HD players to keep tabs on their virtual friends, like any good teenager would, through Faceplace Alerts. Whether their actual high school years are behind them or not, now iPad owners can survive or thrive in this high school for as long as they want.

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Daily Double: Auditorium & Surviving High School $0.99, Totemo for Free

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on December 4th, 2009

Well, I decided to call this column the "Daily Double" because of EA's 25 Days Til Xmas Sale and Blacksmith Games' Appvent Calender, but EA has decided to mess me up by having two games on sale today: Auditorium and Surviving High School are both on sale for $0.99. Meanwhile, the Appvent Calender is featuring Totemo, a casual puzzle game with some nice graphics.

I actually played Auditorium for the first time last night, and let me say that this game is fantastic. It has all the polish of an EA app with the inventiveness of an indie game. It's hard to describe how the game works, but once you play it, everything is intuitive. It's a soothing puzzle game in which you divert beams of light into containers to create sound. The level designs are elegant, and there are multiple solutions to each stage. Once you complete a level, you're left with a "symphony of light and sound." It's beautiful and quirky, even if it is lacking a bit on content. (You can buy additional level packs via in-app purchase.)

Surviving High School is an app-store success in which you take on the role of a high-school student. There are the usual tribulations—fights, girl drama, and so on—that you'd expect of high school life. The App Store reviews are mostly positive, though many have complained about not being able to play as a girl; you can shape your character into jock or nerd, popular guy or hated outsider. Plus, each week brings a new "episode," introducing new content that replaces the old. It seems to have garnered quite the following.

The Appvent Calender is clearly working as a developer promotional tool; according to Blacksmith Games, the previous apps have all managed to surge into the Top 100 Free list. Today's offering is Totemo, a puzzle game with good graphics and a totem-pole theme, even if the gameplay isn't overly original (it's a twist on the math-3 formula). Totemo includes both a Story mode and a frenetic Survival mode, and should be worth a download for puzzle fans.