Maplewood Junior High
In Carmel Games' point-and-click puzzle Maplewood Junior High, your teacher wants you to do an assignment, but the problem is she expects you to do it on a bunch of ancient computers that haven't seen the light of day since 1996. Can you complete your homework despite the literally old school equipment... and the fact that you're woefully unprepared? To play, just click around to interact. The cursor will change to red if you can use something, and people you can talk to will display a mouth icon when you mouse over them. To use something you're carrying, just click it once to highlight it in your inventory, and then again wherever you'd like to use it onscreen. Then, if you're extra experienced, lay facedown on the floor for a while feeling the crushing weight of the years because computers that would still be more modern than the ones you learned to type on in school are considered to be relics. Anyone have a rocking chair I can borrow? I need to go sit on my porch and yell at clouds.
Despite a bafflingly out-of-place anti-global warming rant and crazy strawman character at the start of the game, Maplewood Junior High feels like a big step up for Carmel Games, especially in terms of visual quality. Characters animate fluidly instead of with jerky, rigid movements, and the voice acting is very well done. The '90s vibe of the "teaching material" and the room itself is almost painfully accurate, I can tell you that much. The puzzles are about as bizarro as you've come to expect from Carmel Games, requiring you to use some items in increasingly silly ways, but some of them, like the computer repair, are actually fairly clever and well-implemented. It's short and goofy, but in the way Carmel Games fans have come to expect, and with a significant upgrade in several ways over their previous work that promises even bigger and better things from them down the road.