Between bullying, internet strangeness, social anxiety, and navigating the labyrinth of sexual identity, junior high has high nightmare scenario potentiality. But the episodic dating game LongStory hopes to make that burgeoning period less mortifying for girls aged 10 to 16.
LongStory looks like an Americanized Persona, sans the dungeon-diving RPG half of that game, or a Christine Love graphic novel, like Digital: A Love Story, but with a Chris Ware-ish illustration style replacing exaggerated anime. (Its character Nora, the friendly home-schooled kid who lives online, is a dead ringer for Fuuka from Persona 3, for instance.) And it hits on a similar theme: pushing positive social agendas while representing them in a way that's more realistic and relevant to stateside underclassmen. (And while avoiding the gender controversy surrounding the former series.)
But besides all the do-gooder game stuff, the story looks to have an ensemble of believable, lovable characters. Well, except for the bratty pre-teen bullies.
The game is available as of yesterday on Google Play.