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The Exchange Student: Episode 1 - First Day in Sweden (Windows)

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Description

First Day in Sweden is the first game in an episodic flash-based adventure series, spearheaded by Will Eaken, Dave Rigley and Dimitris Manos. The first episode introduces Emilio Carboni, a 22-year-old exchange student from Florence, Italy, and his friend Vincenzo. Gifted with stereotypical Italian traits, Emilio thinks every woman desires him, although none have shown interest so far. Vincenzo is quite the opposite, but girls find him attractive because of his looks.

When Vincenzo returns from an exchange program and shows pictures of Swedish girls to Emilio, the latter decides to apply as well, despite his mother's objections. The entire episode spans the time he leaves Italy and his arrival in Sweden, meeting the other students, adding up to about two to four hours of gameplay. The overall structure is reminiscent of a TV sitcom like Friends or That 70s Show with a fast pace and lots of humor. All characters are voiced by known actors from the industry. While the trial version can be played for free, the full version needs be unlocked for €10. The game includes a built-in hint system to provide help when you are stuck.

Screenshots

The Exchange Student: Episode 1 - First Day in Sweden Windows The inventory system appears near the top of the screen.
The Exchange Student: Episode 1 - First Day in Sweden Windows "If Swedish drivers are stoves, Italian drivers are microwaves" © Emilio
The Exchange Student: Episode 1 - First Day in Sweden Windows Emilio's father has a special gift.
The Exchange Student: Episode 1 - First Day in Sweden Windows La mama does not want Emilio to go... he's 22, still a baby!

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The Press Says

Adventure Classic Gaming Jan 24, 2008 5 out of 5 100
Adventure Europe Sep 29, 2006 91 out of 100 91
Adventure Lantern Oct, 2006 84 out of 100 84
Game Overdrive 2006 6.7 out of 10 67
PC Player (Denmark) Dec, 2006 6.5 out of 10 65
Adventure Advocate Oct 15, 2006 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Just Adventure Sep 29, 2006 C+ 58
Factornews Sep 08, 2006 5 out of 10 50

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Trivia

Development

The game was initially developed for Symbian-based mobile phones, funded by a Russian developer who contacted Dimitris Manos. After writing the script, he contacted Bill Tiller, who did the graphics for The Curse of Monkey Island and The Dig, who directed him to William Eaken. For the character design and animations, Paco Vink was attracted (known for the Monkey Island comic), while the coding was done by the Russians.

After half a year of development and no contract signed, the funders decided to postpone the project. Dimitris Manos started looking for another mobile publisher, but at the same time grew frustrated with the Symbian platform and the work it would take to market it properly and port it to JAVA. Therefore, he decided to self-fund the project and began development for Windows and Macintosh, based on Flash. Meanwhile, the team had also changed drastically, with Steven Watts as the programmer, while Dave Rigley did the animations, GUI and character design.

Inspiration

Director Dimitris Manos stayed in Sweden from 2000 until 2006. A lot of the characters and events in the game are inspired by real people. The pictures in the kitchen and in the room of the Spanish friends for instance, are real photographs, taken during his time as an exchange student.

References

  • There is a poster in the hallway of your student house. If you look at it, Emilio will say: "Mona from A Vampyre Story, She's so OT!". It is no coincidence this adventure game is referenced here, as Bill Tiller, one of the developers originally contacted to work on this episode, was working on it at the time.
  • The protagonist, Emilio Carboni, shares a lot of traits with Larry Laffer. The game can even considered be a homage to the character. Al Lowe, the original creator, is mentioned in the special thanks section, and Dimitris Manos used some of the prototype design documents Mr Lowe offers on his site, to write the story for these series.

Related Web Sites

Sciere (253393) added The Exchange Student: Episode 1 - First Day in Sweden (Windows) on Aug 22, 2006
Other platforms contributed by Kabushi (122515)