Average Playtime: 1 hour

Freshman Year

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Freshman Year is a vignette game about an ordinary night in the life a college freshman named Nina. Nina's best friend Jenna invites her to meet up at a local bar with some classmates. Jenna is sort of flaky though, so Nina has to navigate the party by herself. You play as Nina, texting with her friend Jenna as you mingle, dance, drink and wait.

Please be aware that this game depicts scenarios that may be distressing to people who have experienced abuse.

Freshman Year was developed by designer Nina Freeman, with art by Laura Knetzger and music by Stephen Lawrence Clark.

This game is autobiographical, based on the experience of designer Nina Freeman.

Please also check out the Steam page for "how do you Do It?", another autobiographical vignette game from a team including the designer of Freshman Year.

Release date
Laura Knetzger
Nina Freeman
Stephen Lawrence Clark
Age rating
Not rated

System requirements for macOS

  • OS: Mac OS X v10.6, or later
  • Processor: Intel Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
  • Memory: 100 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 512MB of RAM; 128MB of graphics memory
  • Storage: 10 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Built-in
  • Additional Notes: N/A

System requirements for PC

  • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP (32 bit), Windows Server 2008 (32 bit), Windows Vista® (32 bit), Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows 8.x (32 bit and 64 bit), or Windows Server 2012 (64 bit)
  • Processor: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel® Atom™ 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
  • Memory: 100 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 512MB of RAM (1GB of RAM recommended for netbooks); 128MB of graphics memory
  • Storage: 10 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Built-in
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Last Modified: Sep 17, 2019

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Freshman Year reviews and comments

Translated by
Microsoft from Italian
Two premises. First of all, note the great help that Kotaku is offering to Nina Freeman, author of this title as of how Do You Do It? That I have already reviewed. The latter had been reported in a list of the best FTP games on Steam, while Freshman Year was mentioned in a very recent article on the new Integrated Refunds system (which led me among other things here). I Must then nod to the great inner dilemma that arises in writing two lines on this title after giving the thumb up recently to Escape, very imperfect but intriguing draft of the equally FTP puzzle game: To anyone who comes to mind to make comparisons on My voice regarding these two titles, it is clear that I do not seem possible to put next the methods of evaluating a puzzle game with those needed for a short story driven game like this, where obviously the issues of gameplay pass in the background and you evaluate Just the plot. Following my short "run", I closed the window of Steam almost with impetus of repulsion, convinced of having found something even more cheesy than How Do You Do It?. Although the game is able to transmit (as well as its predecessor) a sense of "uncomfortable strangeness", and even though the visual style and even the soundtrack are quite fitting (the choice is notable for the central scene, with the beat that blends with The heartbeat of the protagonist), Freshman Year suffers from a narrative hasty, empty, unnecessarily hermetic and suspended, where instead in the face of social issues "hot" (sexual abuse, the transgression of laws aimed at minors) would be An incisive and sharp concreteness was much more beneficial. On Second thought in the course of a day I think I have partially reassessed this work. The key to everything is the final scene, unexpectedly metaphorical (so that at first glance the symbolism does not grasp at all). The protagonist has, in a moment of profound crisis, a vision "beyond the mirror" of his existence as a freshman, where a desperate face and a body alone stand before an anonymous and obscure crowd and a single definite figure, an alleged "friend", who Unequivocally turns his back and hastens to disappear into the mass. This is therefore basically a game, as the title says, on the late adolescent difficulty of finding a place in a new society, in which we try to integrate but with difficulty, feeling sometimes a lighthouse that seeks the best to stain: the protagonist arrives on time while the friend is late Drogandosi, the protagonist participates in the parties but hopes not to appear drunk in the photos on social media next to friends, the protagonist finally considers sexual harassment and escapes in front of what for the friend is a Legitimate avance, of which it is narrated with lightness a very different outcome concerning an acquaintance. In this sense, it will be for the objective longer duration than its predecessor, Freshman Year can not be considered in any way inferior to HDYDI?, if only because the red line of the psychological theme is richer and more reconstructed. But can this be enough to positively evaluate an FTP lasting 15 minutes? The problem here is that the construction of the story, the characters and the textual compartment itself can not seem very rhetorical. In an "experience" of this kind I expect that something remains in my way of seeing things: and instead here, as in HDYDI? It tends excessively to banal unpretentious descritivism, leaving a feeling from "Yes, that's the way the world goes: Well?" It Lacks in other words a bit of interpretive courage, which seems to be a characteristic of this processor. But We are on the right track. If This media bombing actually serves something, it will only demonstrate the author's next work, "Cybele", which seems to me already much more appealing in the beginning and able to integrate more with the habitat of this platform.
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