PC gaming for girls was extremely limited in the 1990s but there was one game I played that was the very first of its kind at the time for my demographic. This game had a very ambitious idea to create full motion video with point and click interfaces, mini games and multiple characters.
The game was McKenzie & Co, the first game by Her Interactive who has denied the game’s existence in its catalogue – it is a shame but totally understandable. Among all the ambitious ideas in the game it also included sexist stereotypes, a multitude of cliche high school archetypes and the main goal of the game was getting a guy to ask you to the prom. This game was essentially a dating SIM for young girls.
But why humiliate myself in this blog post about an obscure game I used to play? Because of this…
I recently stumbled upon the expansion pack for the original McKenzie & Co game while doing some household cleaning. Yes, you read that correctly – there was an expansion pack for the original game titled McKenzie & Co.: MORE FRIENDS! In attempting to Google about the game, I could not find any existence of this expansion pack online. It’s a true novelty not being able to find something on Google. I figured for this fact alone that this game is so rare that it warranted a blog post.
The original McKenzie & Co game (which I no longer own) included 5 CD-ROM discs… a main disc for the game and a separate disc for each guy you choose to interact with. It’s super embarrassing to admit I actually played this game and enjoyed it at the time, but it was my guilty pleasure. The cliche archetypes in the main game included – the preppy guy, the class clown, the guy-next-door, and a cowboy (I kid you not, there is a cowboy type in this game!).
The More Friends expansion pack includes James, the bad boy biker (complete with motorcycle and leather jacket) and Aaron, the vegetarian and animal rights activist (protest signs are his accessory).
I was pretty surprised at the excellent condition of the box even though it is 16 years old – it still includes all the discs as well as an ad for the Vampire Diaries CD-ROM game.
This game is a rare find. I hope that there is someone out there in a nostalgic browsing mood that stumbles on this blog post and has fun remembering or referencing it.
If you’re interested in some of the game play of McKenzie & Co – I did manage to find a review of the demo on YouTube. Not only is the commentary snarky and really entertaining (and a little PG-13) but it is a great example of attempting to play older PC games on advanced hardware/software. If you’re interested in a demo without the commentary – YouTube has that too!