Education Becomes Product in No Pineapple Left Behind’s Demo

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially when it could be stuffed full of facts to generate high test scores.  In No Pineapple Left Behind you’re a principal of a charter school tasked with turning a nice profit from the results of the school’s standardized testing, and if that means processing the children rather than treating them as small and complicated humans then that’s what’s going to happen.  Fortunately, a stray bit of magic turned all the kids into pineapples, and pineapples are simple.  They take tests and get grades, and if they’ll never achieve as much as a child would that’s hardly the school’s problem.  Grades provide proof of the school’s effectiveness, which earns funding, which means profit.

No Pineapple Left Behind has been in development for a while now, and it’s finally ready to show off an early alpha version of itself.  The demo comprises the first two levels out of nine, and lets you feel like a truly terrible human being if you play it right.  Not all the students are pineapples, and the ones that are still kids have needs and desires.  Some of them you can do something about and others you can’t, but it’s easier to just zap ’em with a spell to dehumanize them into pineapples.  Sure, the teachers you hire can do things like minimize traits that act as a catalyst for bullying, but it’s much easier to hit the kid with a Lose Friend spell for a more immediate rise in test scores.  Kids without friends won’t be as distracted, after all.  The alpha is early, but current plans call for being able to choose the path of quick and easy profit or turning the pineapples back into kids for a real management challenge.  It won’t be as simple, of course, but nobody ever promised not being a blight on humanity was easy.

The No Pineapple Left Behind alpha is available over at Itch.io, and it’s currently set up as pay-what-you-want.  You can just go straight to the download or, if you feel supportive, make a donation to the game’s ongoing development.  There’s a really good management sim with a vicious dose of social commentary in here, and if the menus are a bit cluttered at the moment that’s for further development and the requested player feedback to sort out.  There’s seven more school districts and endless features and adjustments left to go, but No Pineapple Left Behind’s alpha already shows that, if you’re looking for a quick profit, stick with fruit.