Brooktown High Senior Year - hands-on

Ever think back to your high school days and wonder what might have happened if you had gotten up the courage to ask that special someone out? Maybe you're thinking forward to your high school days, and musing on what might replace recess in your daily schedule? Or perhaps you're in high school, looking fraternize outside of your social caste without fear of vicious reprisal? Whether you're looking to relive, pre-live, or alterna-live high school, Brooktown High is the place for you.

In Brooktown High, you create your own character and proceed to navigate the social jungle that is senior year. You meet and interact with fellow students who embody traditional social archetypes, like jocks, preppies, nerds and rebels. You can pursue whomever you like, taking them on dates to such classic locales as the mall, the movies and the beach. Note that your parent's basement, the town common and 7-11 do not make the list.

Above: Look at all of them. Stop loitering aroundand talk to someone. Anyone!

Before that, though, you're going to have to make an identity for yourself. The game lets you decide certain things about your character, like appearance, clothing and gender, but your personality - and by extension, your strengths and social status - is determined by your answers to a quick questionnaire on your likes and dislikes.

Once your character's finished, you're set free to wander around in public orjust hang around your room for an indertiminate amount of time. The whole setup feels a little like the console Sims games, with your avatar needing to get a job, attend classes and study in order tomaintain a healthy personal life and build up his or her appeal as date material. Play all your cards right - and pick the right responses when chatting up your Bratz-looking peers - and you might even get a reason to go out on Friday night.