Skool Daze: Klass of '99
for PC
Also available for: ZX Spectrum (Skool Daze)

Mr Creosote:
Company: Richard Jordan
Year: 1999
Genre: Adventure, Action
Theme: Cartoon & Comic / Humour / Unique
Language: English
Licence: Freeware
Views: 23537
Review by Mr Creosote (2007-10-28)

Remaking a classic game is always a controversial, but also popular venture. There's always the question of the point, because why do a straight remake when there's the original (running on every imaginable device thanks to emulation). On the other hand, if a supposed remake strays too far from the source, the old fans complain as well. A difficult balancing act.

When Klass of '99 was released, it was greeted by unanimously positive reactions. Based on the Spectrum classic Skool Daze, it built on the original and solid foundation, but doesn't stick to the details slavishly.

The basic premise remains the same: Eric has to purge his report card from existence in order to avoid being expelled from school. 14 years have passed since the original Eric's similar adventure, and in 1999, the school is utilizing digital equipment, so instead of breaking into the school safe, he has to delete the file from the secretary's computer.

So, instead of the safe combination, the player has to get the teachers to reveal the computer password. This is done in pretty much the same way as in the original: knock the shields off the walls. Again, Mr Creak is a special case, and last, but not least, the secretary has to be forced to leave the computer unattended.

To achieve the latter, Eric can use a special item which has to be found in the school building and used at the right place in the right time. This is where Klass incorporates one of the distinguishing features of the second part of the original games. In fact, there are three items to be picked up and used on the whole, compared to none at all in Skool Daze.

Obviously, the graphics have been given a facelift, and quite successfully so. While retaining the recognizable features of the characters and the overall 'architecture' of the building, the rooms and the furniture, Klass looks infinitely better than the original without relying on silly 3D rendering, uselessly flashy effects or any of that 'modern' crap. The school building is larger than the original ones (more rooms), and there are a few new characters, like the caretaker or the computing teacher.

In conclusion, Klass of '99 can probably best described as a careful modernization. It avoids the lure of changing too many things, but expands what's there intelligently and wraps it into a attractive package. Highly recommended!

P.S. Ironically, after being the 'game added to most Abandonware sites in the shortest time' for a while, the game has by now faded into oblivion again (seriously - try finding it anywhere). It's not even available on the official website anymore, having been replaced by a MS-Windows port. So rejoice - what you can download here is the original version for MS-DOS. You'll have to search for a system which doesn't run this version quite a bit. If, for whatever unexplainable reason, you do prefer to have a native Windows version, you can get it on the official site.

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