Mean Girls (lost build of cancelled Nintendo DS game based on teen comedy film; 2009-2010)
Mean Girls (also known as Mean Girls DS) is a video game made for the Nintendo DS, intended as a tie-in for the 2004 teen comedy film of the same name. The game was published by 505 Games and was set to be released in Europe on September 11th, 2009. A United States release was scheduled for April 20th, 2010, but both were canceled at the last minute. For unknown reasons, the game has not resurfaced digitally or physically since its release, and no copies have been accounted for.
Little is known about the gameplay, though the plot is presumably similar to the movie, in that the player acts as a new student at a high-school. Kotaku described the game as being "some kind of Puzzle Quest ripoff", which would make it similar to its PC counterpart, Mean Girls: High School Showdown. However, according to the ESRB, it was an adventure game where the player interacts with characters through text-based conversations. It is also possible the game differs from both of these descriptions, as neither of them seems to match up with the available screenshots, which make it look more like a series of minigames.
The game was noteworthy for not including Lindsay Lohan in the cover, despite her major role in the film. Apparently, the official explanation for this was that it was due to a monetary dispute, though many speculate that the actual reason was the actress' poor reputation at the time.
It appears that the game was a financial failure, and very few copies were printed; previously announced tie-in games such as the Pretty in Pink and Clueless games were either made PC-download-only or, in the case of the latter, cancelled entirely. Though the US release of Mean Girls was cancelled, it still has a UPC code, and the game has been sold online at least once before. Here is the description of the game, from the Walmart website:
"Go up against plastics, jocks, art freaks and mathletes, as you work to play the cliques against each other and become the high school prom queen!" "Unlock new mini-games and environments"
Despite recent search efforts, no ROM images have surfaced, and no copies have been found currently for sale. There are no known scans of the back cover, though a total of 5 screenshots were found on an obscure Italian site.
Official Response from Publisher
On April 24th, 2017, LMW user Flutter contacted publisher 505 Games, and received the following message:
Thank you for contacting 505 Game Customer Support. We've been getting a consistent flow of tickets about this game, mostly from the Lost Media Wiki. Everything that's listed there is all that we know, and all that is publicly released. The game itself never made it to market, so there are no additional details that we have to offer, as this is a cancelled title from over 7 years ago. My apologies for the inconvenience."
505 Games Customer Support
This confirms that the game's release was indeed cancelled.
On May 26th, 2021, YouTuber Ray Mona (previously responsible for dumping the unreleased Clueless DS game online) revealed via Twitter that she had come into possession of the ROM of the game and announced a forthcoming documentary video detailing how she obtained it. A trailer for said documentary was uploaded to YouTube the following day, in which the title screen of the game is shown playing on actual DS hardware. She has since uploaded four pieces of music from the game onto her YouTube channel and posted a screenshot of the game to Twitter.
On June 14th, 2021, Ray Mona uploaded a video to her channel that revealed the fact that she had come into possession of the ROM, as well as more screenshots, after more contact with employees of the studio who had worked on the Mean Girls DS game. An anonymous source has given Ray Mona access to the ROM, but for legal reasons, as well as the fact that the ROM is bugged to the point it cannot work past the first minigame, the ROM cannot be shared, rendering this piece of media still lost.
On June 15th, 2021, Ray Mona released gameplay footage from the Mean Girls DS game. The footage captured is from the beginning of the game right up until the ROM bug/error occurs.
On July 14th, 2021, Ray Mona released a full playthrough of the Mean Girls DS game onto her channel, noting a list of bugs and glitches she encountered during the debugging process. She enlisted the help of programmer TOMYSSHADOW to assist her in patching and debugging the rom.
- GameFAQs page for the game. Retrieved 30 Sep '16
- Kotaku article about the game. Retrieved 30 Sep '16
- The game's ESRB rating justification. Retrieved 30 Sep '16
- Page for the game on The Hunt. Retrieved 30 Sep '16
- Archived Walmart page with the description of the game. Retrieved 07 Jun '21
- Screenshots for the game, on Multiplayer.it. Retrieved 30 Sep '16
- Tweet from Ray Mona revealing her acquisition of the game. Retrieved 29 May '21