The Exchange Student Episode 2: Point Club

Posted by Gustavo Calvo-Simmons.
First posted on 05 February 2008. Last updated on 07 September 2009.
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The Exchange Student Episode 2: Point Club
What is the first rule of Point Club?
The Exchange Student Episode 2: Point Club
It is party time!
The Exchange Student Episode 2: Point Club
Going pink is a good style for Emilio!
The Exchange Student Episode 2: Point Club
Ladies beware! Emilio is here!
The Exchange Student Episode 2: Point Club
There is never a bad time for a good prank.

The Exchange Student is a comic adventure game series developed by the small indie game studio Pan Metron Ariston. Episode 2: Point Club is the second part of the episodic series that follows the misadventure of Emilio Carboni, a 22 year old Italian, Casanova wannabe who travels to Sweden as an exchange student looking for love and passion. At the end of Episode 1: First Day in Sweden, Emilio finds himself involved in a strange and twisted game with his 3 roommates to see who can conquest more girls over the semester, in which the winner of the game will receive a mysterious price. Riding high on the marvelous cliffhanger of Episode 1, Episode 2 picks up where the previous episode leaves off in Emilio's ongoing search for love in a foreign land.

Continuing with the quick and witty dialogs from Episode 1, Episode 2 carries on the great writing to give a fresh perspective of Emilio's character. Not only does the game reveal more detail about Emilio's inner aspiration while growing up to be a man, it also deals more in depth about how other characters relate to Emilio, such as how Emilio's sponsor Sarah thinks of her protégée or how Emilio's Spaniard friends Pedro and Miguel tell Emilio of their side interests beside studying.

An obvious parody to Fight Club, Point Club is where Emilio competes against his roommates (Pedro, Miguel, and Mathias) to score points by successfully charming as many girls as possible. However, before Emilio is allowed into the game, he must prove himself to others that he can pull off a decent prank of his own.

The gameplay in Episode 2 remains unchanged from that in Episode 1. The game uses a traditional point and click interface. It has a separate inventory menu that can be easily accessed by moving the mouse cursor to the top part of the screen. In theory, the game is made more to be enjoyed leisurely rather than to be taxing. There is even a hints and tips box next to the inventory menu where you can click to get advice on what to do next. This game is therefore ideal for novice gamers who are new to the adventure genre.

The level of difficulty for Episode 2 is higher than of Episode 1. This is because there are certain moments in the game when you must click really fast to guide Emilio through the correction sequences of action. This is especially true for the scene inside Sarah's house where she starts chasing Emilio. There is little or no time to think on what action Emilio must take on next. Rather, the solution must be discovered by trial and error, without any hints from Emilio. This is in contrast to Episode 1 where Emilio is quite verbose in revealing what needs to be done next.

Much like Episode 2, I praise Episode 2 for its originality as well as its funny and clever use of stereotypes in such a way to give its story a breath of freshness to make it interesting and appealing without being overtly juvenile. The only complaint I have is that Episode 2 plays out even shorter than Episode 1 (despite what the developer may claim otherwise) and that there is still no option to skip through cut scenes.

Unsurprisingly, Episode 2: Point Club answers some questions but leaves more questions unanswered about Emilio's ultimate fate. Overall, it is a fun game that plays true to the spirit of the series that is destined to be a cult classic.

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