Life in the Dorms is a point-and-click adventure game on the Xbox LIVE Indie Channel developed by Moment Games. Unfortunately, the game is not about binge drinking and wet t-shirt contests as you might suspect from a video game about college life (guess I’ll have to stick to the Van Wilder movies for that) but rather the more “family friendly” side of things.
The game focuses on main character Dack Peeples, a freshman who literally just moved into his dorm. The player has to guide him through a series of trials and tribulations such as having to win a silly scavenger hunt to “bond” with his floor mates, meeting his oddly axe-wielding roommate, and the sudden disappearance of his pet turtle Bernard (guess that’s what you get for bringing a pet with you to college, buddy). Dack must also update his Flitter account from time to time, which is hilarious.
The biggest issue with this game is how slow it moves. The problem is that doing just about anything brings up the command wheel. Want to look through a box of DVDs? You have to click each one individually, bringing up the command wheel, and then clicking the eye icon just to see the title of the movie. Couldn’t the title just be displayed by highlighting it or something? This is a common theme throughout the game. Experimenting with the combination of different items can make the game real repetitive when you are wrong as Dack has to stop, turn and face the camera, and tell you why he doesn’t wanna do it. Even something as simple as walking through a doorway can be a chore as you have to decide whether or not to knock on it, look at it, or try saying hello. Why would I want to just stand there looking at a door?
The game’s jokes are actually pretty funny. Since Life in the Dorms is classified as comedy this is a pretty important thing. Although they do go a little too far with whole the “serial killer roommate” gag, Moment Games got many aspects about living in a dorm right such as how cheesy RA’s usually are and how much your parents tend to not leave you alone.
Life in the Dorms has its ups and downs. It has a pretty cool graphical style with sprites that sort of resemble Xbox LIVE Avatars. The storyline isn’t bad and most of the characters are unique rather than just flat cardboard cutouts. On the other hand, the game progresses at such a leisurely pace that if you aren’t already a fan of the point-and-click genre in general, you probably aren’t going to have much fun with this game. It doesn’t help things that the same background music just drones on and one and on the whole time.
Like many XBLIGs, Life in the Dorms costs 80 Microsoft Points to download. If you love point-and-click games or are just interested in playing a game set in a college atmosphere, it is still worth checking out despite its flaws.