Skool Daze sets you as Eric, a typical scamp of a schoolboy whose school report is due, and it is so bad that his parents can't be allowed to see it. This means retrieving it from the headmaster's safe, by obtaining every piece of the pass-code from the teachers, by hitting each of the shields with your catapult.
All this has to be done around all the rigors of a typical school day. you must go to class when the bell goes, or else it's detention, and the other kids will often play around to block you. The game's Artificial Intelligence means that events continue to unfold around you in the other rooms and corridors.
Credits (ZX Spectrum version)
Average score: 81% (based on 13 ratings)
Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 15 ratings with 2 reviews)
There's something about Skool Daze that just draws you in. It's hard to put your finger on exactly what makes this game so wonderfully playable, but something does and it has teeth! The wonderful open ended gameplay, the simplicity of the objectives, it all seems so close to completion, and yet so far away! You can choose to attend classes or skip them in order to try and complete the game, it's a brilliant example of an 8-bit classic that has yet to be equalled on 16-bit or 32-bit machines!
The most annoying thing about this game is the fiddlyness, it often is incredibly hard to knock teachers down with your catapult and get your next shot to bounce of their heads at just the right spot. It's also very hard to tell where you should knock down a fellow student to be able to jump on them to reach the right spot! Oddly enough, despite this the game is still very addictive.
Also, if there was just a little more interactivity in this game it would be fantastic. For example, how about the ability to raise your hand and answer questions in class. Get them right and lessen the number of lines you have!
The Bottom Line
Wonderful and unique, yet to be rivalled on more recent machines. Play a classic game and learn why 8-bit machines could be so much fun!
ZX Spectrum · by Johnny "ThunderPeel2001" Walker (476) · 2004
The addictive, non-stop action - you're constantly needing to move to different classrooms, whilst finding time to hit the shields. You can also clobber the school bully, knock a teacher over with projectiles from a catapult (and cause other people to take the blame!), plant one on the tell-tale know-it all, in short you can do all the things you craved to do at your real school. You can even change the characters names, so you can name them after horrible teachers and bullies you had to put up at school, gain private revenge after all these years. The school captures perfectly the atmosphere and look of an english school, and the teachers are all strong characters. There's the sadistic cane-worshiping Wagner-bearded headmaster (who I always think is probably similar in character to the loud-mouthed, bullying, rather stroppy deputy head at one of my old schools). There's also Mr Withit, who probably tries to act like one of the lads and take to the dance floor at the school disco. There's also an odd-looking science master and a decidedly fierce old history master. There's interaction with the characters (you can be given lines for misbehaving, and you are often given extra jobs to do such as avoiding catching mumps and racing against time to remove a catapult with your name on it).
It's sometimes difficult to avoid being given lines, especially when there aren't enough seats in the classroom and you keep being knocked off your chair.
The Bottom Line
The end-of-term reports are coming up. Eric's will be sent to his parents soon, and since he has spent the term bopping people on the nose, firing catapults and writing poems involving girls from various parts of the country on school blackboards, it's obvious Eric's parents won't be pleased when they read the report. So if Eric wants to keep a backside he can sit on, he must find the combination to the safe - in which the reports are kept - and replace it with his own forged school report, which no doubt makes him out to be a little angel who brings the teachers apples and wouldn't dream of putting a whoopie cushion on the chair of a visiting school governor no way honest. To open the safe, you must hit various shields. Only when they're all flashing will you be able to make each teacher unwittingly reveal one of the letters of the safe's code. Once the forgery report is in the safe, you must then hit all the shields again to stop them flashing.
ZX Spectrum · by Gary Smith (57) · 2005
1001 Video Games
The ZX Spectrum version of Skool Daze appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
- Retro Gamer
- October 2004 (Issue #9) – #40 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Related Sites +
Cambridge Centre for Computing History
for ZX Spectrum: exhibit reference ID CH33953; additional material
for ZX Spectrum: downloadable releases; additional material including – photographed cassete inlays
Mark Green's interview with Keith Warrington (artist behind the game)
The Your Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years
for ZX Spectrum: software downloads; additional downloads; magazine references; magazine adverts
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
encyclopaedic entry for ZX Spectrum
World of Spectrum
for ZX Spectrum: downloadable releases; additional material including – cassete inlay, advertisement, instructions; remakes links; player reviews; magazine references; magazine adverts
- MobyGames ID: 15189
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Martin Smith.
Game added October 14th, 2004. Last modified October 16th, 2023.