Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Mean Girls is a fantastic movie. No one is here to argue that. But it’s hard not to be skeptical about the idea of turning a decade-old teen comedy classic into a mobile tower defense game. However, the end result works better than it really has any right to, even without a love of the source material.
Positioned as a sequel to the original film, no not the sequel they actually made, Mean Girls: The Game has Cady Heron, Regina George, and the rest teaming up to repel a new generation of cliquey Plastics. But turning stuck-up high schools girls into literally identical endless enemy fodder is just one of a few ways the game uses tower defense tropes as a clever metaphor. The towers themselves represent different groups of students. Cheerleaders damage nearby foes with their routines while jocks hurl basketballs at targets. They start as freshmen and players use earned popularity to level them up all the way until graduation. Matches themselves tend to drag, but there are a bunch of new student groups with intriguing properties to unlock, and the environments, ranging from cafeterias to gyms, feature lots of different snaking paths.
But let’s be honest, the real reason to play a Mean Girls game is to be reminded of Mean Girls the movie, and the game doesn’t disappoint. The visuals are a little flat, but the characters look right and the art has an appropriate teen girl diary feel. Meanwhile, during a match, the game will frequently pop up Mean Girls trivia questions. If players answer correctly by moving their avatar to the right spot on the map, they’ll pump up their team for a few seconds. It’s like every day is October 3rd. This is the most constant source of fan service in the game but at least it has a tangible gameplay benefit.
The best thing about Mean Girls: The Game is that even without the license it would be a perfectly fine tower defense game. So the genuine affection it has for the film only improves the experience, especially if you share that same affection.