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Video Game / Kindergarten

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Kindergarten is an adventure game where you play as a kindergartner. Throughout the day, do favors, avoid trouble, get special items, and repeat as you uncover the mystery under the kindergarten.

A sequel was released in June 2019, and a remastered version bundled with the sequel was released to the Nintendo Switch in January 2023 as "Kindergarten Buddy Edition".

If you're looking for the HBO Family show, see here.

This game provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder:
    • After presenting Cindy's dead dog to her, Ms. Applegate confronts Nugget about it, and pushes him into the Nugget Cave. She had originally meant to just get him expelled, but finds that it works out anyway, since she doesn't have to deal with him anymore.
    • You can do this too, if you press the red button while Billy's tank is selected, which will shred the contents of the tank, AKA him.
  • Anyone Can Die: The only people who can't die are the lunch lady and the hall monitor. Everyone else is fair game, including yourself, your classmates, the teachers, the janitor... Ms. Applegate's route actually involves you getting rid of the other kids; by the end of the day, with the rest of the kids gone (either by death or otherwise), you'll be rewarded with a Lunch Pass and be dismissed early.
  • Awkward Poetry Reading: In Nugget's mission, he tasks the protagonist with giving Lily a love poem he wrote for her. Unfortunately, Lily can't read, so she asks Ms. Applegate to read it for her. Ms. Applegate obliges... by reading the poem out loud to the rest of the class. Nugget and Lily are both understandably humiliated, especially since the poem includes lines like "Nugget likes the Lily's hair / Nugget likes to smell her chair".
  • Black Comedy: You'll be surprised with the sheer amount of dark content and adult themes in the bright and colorful world of kindergarten, and you'll be even more surprised with how they're all Played for Laughs.
  • Bland-Name Product: It's not a McDonald's Happy Meal, it's a McGlob's Silly Meal.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Discussed between you and Ms. Applegate after you unwittingly get Cindy killed in a car accident. In commenting on how stupid Cindy is, Ms. Applegate guesses that the only way Cindy could have been dumber was had her parents been siblings.
  • Bottomless Pits: The Nugget Cave, which is dug in the sandbox so deep, even Ms. Applegate can't see its bottom. To enter the pit alive, Nugget must first empty a load of nuggets to cushion the landing.
  • Bully Brutality: Buggs will outright beat you to death if you refuse to give him half your money at the start of the school day or if you provoke him by bringing up his Disappeared Dad (though Ms. Applegate can put a stop to the latter).
  • Collection Sidequest: The Monstermon Cards. The player collects them through various means like finding them hidden around the school or giving certain items to certain characters, and if you collect all of them, you can bring them to the Nugget Cave to unlock a secret ending.
  • Crapsaccharine World: In a bright and colorful pixel-art world, even children die a bloody death.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Killing off your classmates and school staff isn't just an option, it's actually necessary at points to proceed.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: You're not winning fights with Buggs.
  • Daycare Nightmare: The game takes place in one of these.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The principal and janitor will kill you for the slightest of reasons. Your classmates aren't exempt from this either - it's possible for Cindy to stab you to death if you fail to be a dutiful and obedient husband while the two of you are playing house, or if you show Ms. Applegate her dead dog without getting rid of her (she will think you killed her dog and will kill you in revenge), and Buggs's quest revolves around you murdering Ms. Applegate after Buggs gets sick of her trying to expel him. This may be slightly more justified though, due to how being "expelled" works in the school.
  • Dysfunction Junction: If you ever find a moment in the game where anybody on the screen has a normal happy life, you're playing the wrong game.
  • False Rape Accusation: When insulting Cindy after she tries to trick you into being her boyfriend, she starts screaming "RAPE!" and both of you get sent to the principal. Apparently this is the fourth time she's pulled this because somebody didn't want to be her boyfriend. You can prove you didn't do anything, leading to Cindy getting shot, or you can get shot yourself in the absence of proof.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Instead of Pokémon cards, the kids collect (and in the second game, battle with) Monstermon cards.
  • Food as Bribe:
    • One of the few ways to get Buggs to eat a spiked nugget is to offer him a donut.
    • Ms. Applegate will let her students off the hook if offered sweets like a donut.
  • Good Behavior Points: Ms. Applegate has a more unethical take on this trope: She gives gold stars to students who get their classmates killed, since she hates all of them. Her route centres around getting all the other children killed in various ways, and she rewards the protagonist with a gold star each time, as well as a lunch pass once you've gotten rid of them all.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The day resets to Monday whenever you finish it, but you are allowed to keep the money you gained (up to 10 dollars) and special items from doing your classmates' (and teacher's) quests.
  • Gum In Hair: Cindy tells the protagonist to do this to Lily if he wants to be her boyfriend.
  • Have a Nice Death: When you die, the game gives you a hint on how to avoid the demise in question. Sometimes these hints get a bit snarky, such as when you throw the knife into the Nugget Cave without Nugget's permission, causing him to kick you in after it.
    You died. No means no.
  • Immune to Bullets: The principal's gun has no effect on the underground creatures.
  • Kidnapped for Experimentation: This is the reason Billy is missing. After he found the corpse of one of the monsters living under the school in the janitor's closet, the principal decided to keep him quiet by kidnapping him to use as his first guinea pig for replicating the chemical the monsters give off in humans, mutating him (fortunately not irreversibly) in the process.
  • Killed Offscreen: You will never get to see the principal shooting your other classmates in the face. You may, however, see the direct aftermath of the principal shooting Lily (namely, him being absolutely covered in her blood) in Ms. Applegate's route.
  • Little Professor Dialog: The kids often speak in large words that five-year-olds shouldn't know. Then again, it's not that surprising considering their other quality.
  • Love Letter: In his quest, Nugget has the player deliver a love poem he wrote for Lily. Unfortunately, Lily can't read and takes it to Ms. Applegate, who decides to read it out to the whole class, much to Nugget's humiliation.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
    • Those caught in the bomb's radius when it activates will be blown up into pieces.
    • The creatures found underground can also do this to the nearest person.
    • You'll also be blown to bits if you solve Jerome's riddle incorrectly.
    • If summoned via Monstermon Card Deck, red lightning will blast everyone except you and Nugget into bits and pieces.
  • Made from Real Girl Scouts: The janitor's "Biscuit Balls" are made from Cindy's dog "Biscuit".
  • The Many Deaths of You: You can die by getting shot, beaten to death, blown up, poisoned, stabbed in the head, and many, many other ways.
  • Mature Work, Child Protagonists: The protagonist is a kindergartener who attends a school where he, his fellow classmates, and the school staff can get brutally murdered in various ways.
  • Multiple Endings: There are two ways to complete Cindy's mission. The first is to go with her initial idea of bullying Lily. The second, less obvious one is to help her learn the truth about what happened to her dog Biscuit. The more obscure route also gives you an additional reward in the form of a Monstermon card.
  • Mystery Meat:
    • The cafeteria sells "slop", a grey goo that, according to the lunch lady, contains "herbs and spices and salt and about 89 percent the principal's secret ingredient". Whatever that secret ingredient is, it comes from a strange machine in the principal's lab, meaning it's probably not recommended for consumption.
    • The Biscuit Balls the janitor sells aren't any better, though you can uncover their ingredients by looking in his closet.
  • No OSHA Compliance: A person can easily be killed if they jump down the hole leading to the Nugget Cave while lacking anything that can cushion their landing. Multiple people meet their end this way over the course of the game - some accidentally, some deliberately. While it cannot be seen, Ms. Applegate also notes that there is a total lack of a fence between the playground and a busy road. This results in Cindy's death if you dump blood on her, as she runs out onto the road in a panic.
  • Noodle Incident: The janitor legally can't be closer to a child than one mop's length because of this.
  • Not What It Looks Like: During lunch, when you enter the toilet together with Lily, you will encounter the hall monitor and he will think you two are going to get coitus inside.
  • One-Word Title: The title of the game is made up of one word, "Kindergarten".
  • Painting the Medium: Certain dialogues are not only in Caps Lock, but all twice the font size to emphasize the character yelling. Particularly loud shouting even makes the screen shake.
  • Playing House: Some missions require the player character to play "house" with Cindy. It usually goes into dark themes like domestic abuse, alcoholism, cheating, and abortion, which makes sense for a Crapsack World where the kids act way too mature.
  • Poison and Cure Gambit: Nugget poisons the protagonist during lunch when you befriend him during Ms. Applegate's quest, and will only give him the antidote if he helps him poison Buggs.
  • Rainbow Text: Hints within dialogues are colored yellow instead of the usual black.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: In the secret ending, the sky turns red as a herald that the cast (minus the protagonist and Nugget) is going to be zapped into oblivion. The principal, not unsurprisingly thinking this might be an emergency, brings out his gun in response. Ms. Applegate snarkily asks if he intends to shoot the sky.
  • Reset Button: Even if several characters get killed during any of the routes, they'll be perfectly fine the next day. The day will always be Monday (again).
  • Schmuck Bait: If you talk to Nugget during recess and you aren't his friend, he'll ask if you want to see the Nugget Cave. Take up his offer, and you hop into the pit, dying on impact. Refuse his offer the first time, and he'll attempt to tempt you by sparking your curiosity. Continue to refuse and he'll give up, saying you'll have to go down there eventually. He's right, but not in the way you're thinking.
  • School of No Studying: The kids are never seen learning nor is the teacher ever seen teaching (despite brandishing a pointer). The whole school day consists of morning time (where the kids are pretty much left to do whatever they want), lunch, recess, and finally show and tell. Possibly justified considering how dysfunctional the school staff is.
  • Sequel Hook: The Talisman ending is a very blatant one.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The player character has a movie poster for The Force Awakens in his room, albeit very pixelated.
    • Lily getting blood dumped on her is an obvious one of Carrie.
  • Show-and-Tell Antics: Show and tell occurs at the end of the day and each student has to present something (though to keep the day from dragging, only the protagonist is shown presenting something). What happens after depends on what is presented.
    • If the principal's bomb is presented, the bomb detonates, killing the player.
    • If you present a monstermon card, Ms. Applegate will consider your presentation unoriginal and boring before saying that you are skipped.
    • Presenting a love letter to Lilly that nugget wrote results in Nugget triggering a bomb he handed you earlier in retaliation.
    • Presenting a hall pass, a knife, or having nothing to present gets you sent to the Principal's office, where you are shot as punishment. Yes, that is even for not having anything to present.
    • There are some items that should get you in trouble but don't for one reason or another. These items include a bucket of blood, Principal's Key, a Severed Finger, and a flask. If you present any of these items, Ms. Applegate will either disregard them (bucket of blood and flask) or fail to recognize them as actually being a problem (Principal's Key and severed finger).
    • Bringing Cindy's bloody shoe will lead to Applegate giving you a Monstermon card for reminding her of the 'incident'.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink:
    • Nugget can trick you to into eating a poisoned... nugget. Depending on your choices, he can then withhold the antidote until you trick Buggs into eating another poisoned one.
    • Ms. Applegate will serve you a poisoned meal if you have lunch with her, after turning down her offer to eliminate Buggs.
  • Techno Babble: Used and lampshaded by Monty when he's repurposing one of the principal's bombs into being remote activated in Buggs's mission.
    Monty: Okay then. Just a solder here. Rewire that timer to pass through that capacitor. Set the receiver to the correct frequency. More technobabble to make me seem smart...and it's done!
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Everyone with the exception of Jerome and Lily. One has to wonder if this is a special kindergarten class for budding psychopaths.
  • Unseen No More: For most of the game, Billy is a mysteriously missing student who's spoken about by the kids who knew him, but obviously never seen because of the whole missing part. However, in the final mission, the protagonist and Lily infiltrate the principal's secret lab and find him in mutated form. They manage to turn him back and rescue him, and he reappears as his normal self with the other students in the second game.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Judging by the (lack of) reaction given, a janitor beating a kindergartner to death with a mop apparently constitutes a typical Monday morning in kindergarten.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: If you feed Buggs Nugget's highly-potent poison nugget, he will vomit on Nugget's timing before falling to the ground.
  • Wham Shot: The room below the Principal's Office and Billy's whereabouts. We won't spoil the surprise.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Lily will call you out if you follow her out of the cafeteria just to put gum in her hair.

Tropes exclusive to the Monstermon Card Series:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The cards Wizard Worm and Sneaky Snake. The description of the former implies that Mage Maggot and Sorcerer Serpent exists, just that they are not part of the 25.
  • Blow You Away:
    • Parodied with the Tornado Fly. It can create tornadoes by flapping its wings, but they're too small to be threatening, for the user is just a small bug.
    • Oh Faka Tornado, on the other hand, is a proper wind user, being able to suck people in and compel them into saying its name.
  • Cyclops: The Cyclops Duckling, except it only got one eye because its other eye was pecked out by a bigger duckling.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: One of the Monstermon Cards, "Literally Grass", is nothing more than that.
  • Eye Scream: How Cyclops Duckling got its name.
  • Flavor Text: After collecting a card, the player may read what kind of Monstermon it is and its description.
  • The Paladin: Holy Knight may be under this archetype, especially considering it was formerly a priest.
  • Precision F-Strike: As mentioned above, the Ohfaka Tornado compels its victims to say its name. Said out loud, this becomes "Oh fuck, a tornado!"
  • Punny Name: The Ohfaka Tornado card.
  • Riddle for the Ages: No one knows what the "Oglebob" in Oglebob Golem means. Justified, as no one dares to ask him.
  • Shout-Out: