Bully – Dangerous Minds [RETRO-2006]

RETRO – Gangsters, drivers, maniac killers, and a few other crazy stunts later, Rockstar Games in 2006 released a game with a rather original protagonist and game world. In Bully, we get to follow the life of an Academy student.


Jimmy Hopkins is a „bad” kid and likes to get into trouble, but deep down he is a good natured kid. In the intro, he arrives at Bullworth Academy so that his mother can have fun with her wealthy friend whom Jimmy hates.

The kid then gets tangled up in a bunch of non-linear adventures, classes, and pranks. Through these objectives, we have to fit into the school, and those who have been in such a situation will be able to relate to Jimmy.

The head teacher would not be impressed with this dorm

Just like GTA, Bully is a sarcastic take on the life of a boarding school dorm’s student’s life: the school is filled with dictatorial professors or with alcoholics. Students that are way worse than us, girls that look like teen whores, or nerdy girls looking for fun. Plus there’s the usual geek, AD&D nerds. The characters are accurate in a way and fun to interact with them.

Everybody wants something from us and completing these tasks usually gives us a dollar, or in another case, the girl will reward us in nature (nothing more than a kiss), or some other reward. So Bully is a fun, and entirely sarcastic game, and if you are 15 years old as Jimmy or older, you’ll remember certain situations that happened in your life just like to Jimmy.

Stupid kids on the block

What exactly do we have to do in Bully? Our objectives are pretty varied and work on the same principal as the GTA franchise. Every NPC has a sort of problem that only Jimmy can solve, of course, we can get a lot of profit out of the different warring factions.

The local AD&D kids, for example, cannot get the dice back for themselves, so it is up to us to get the dice back, and beat the shit out of the thieves. Same goes for the school’s top student who is being picked on by everyone; we have to escort him to the library so that he can study in peace.

We also interfere with girls rivalries and different groups. Of course, this does not mean that the teachers are only there to make our days miserable. They also give us objectives to complete such as one perverted teacher wants girl panties; another teacher needs us to get rid off evidence that he is an alcoholic. All of the teachers have some issues and scandal that needs to be taken care of by us.

Where learning is fun

Those who think that Bully is simply about skipping class, using a slingshot, talking with the girls (of course we can all do that), is very wrong: In Bully we have to go to classes, and in fact, the game rewards us going to classes.

In Bully the classes are incredibly fun: logic based mini-games, we can also do some quick drawing classes under the guidance of the sexy art teacher. We learn country name in geology and get to dissect a frog in Biology class. Fun, fun, fun!

We can do extra curricular activities besides studying: Sign up for the boxing club, to get better at fighting and kicking ass, or go to the theme park, but we can also do bicycle races. Our free time activities are just as varied as our study plans.

Grand Theft Bicycle?

So what can we use to travel in the game world? Of course, we cannot steal a car as Jimmy is still a minor and this is not GTA, but luckily we do not have to go on foot to the nearby town or the campus. During most of our missions, we can pretty easily get a skateboard, which allows us to do tricks that shame even Tony Hawk while going down the roads of Bullworth Academy (Okay Tony sorry there is a no bigger ace than you…)

If we have to hurry, we can even grab onto a car while using the skateboard „Back to the Future” style. The other mode of travel is the bicycle that many can be found in the small town. Luckily most of them are not locked down, so we can just take them away without fearing that the yard or owner will chase us down. We cannot store the bikes anywhere, so we just have to leave it where ever, but the skateboard is always available to us, so it allows us to swoop into the classrooms.

Let’s cause chaos?

I guess a lot of you question if the game is fully non-linear as Grand Theft Auto. My answer is yes, but to be more precise it starts like this: When we get up from our dorm bed, the possibilities are endless, we can go to classes, skip them, or do missions within the dorm or outside the town.

The optional objectives are marked with a yellow star, and allow us to find these tasks rather quickly. When we go to the school, every bitching girl and idiot boy come near us that they need help, or their life will be miserable („These are the sidequests”).

If we want to mess around we can go boxing into the town, or we can do bicycle races, or maybe just skateboard around the town. We can do so much stuff but time is so short that we will end up wanting to do everything in the end.

Friends, lovers, Eskimo lemon

Of course, besides all the optional content we get a linear arc. Our hero befriends two people: the evil Gary Smith, who functions as the darker side of Jimmy, and Pete Kowalski, who is both of their friends but Gary always beats him up or humiliates him.

Jimmy has to learn rather quickly in who to trust, and who will screw him over. Of course, we cannot have a complete school game without women. Jimmy will be able to conquer the hearts of different girls, and after the first Act he can kiss with any of them, plus some of them can be with Jimmy in a serious relationship.

Of course, in the game, all of the women are either stupid, ignorant bitches, or fat, ugly girls with glasses, by this Rockstar’s cynical depiction reach new heights.

Don’t reject this bully!

Bully is not just a great expansion of GTA’s concept, but it also holds up on its own as a great game. Fun, cynical, and at times perverted humored game, with a lot of sidequests, neat ideas, colorful characters, and a fantastic soundtrack. All in all, this is a school simulator that you do not want to skip.



+ Varied gameplay
+ Superb Rockstar humor
+ Original, “one-of-a-kind game.”


– The dorm is a limited area
– Some game part isn’t fun
– The story is a bit..boring

Publisher: Rockstar Games, Inc.

Developer: Rockstar Vancouver

Genre: Action

Relase date: 2006


Gameplay - 8.6
Graphics (2006) - 8.1
Story/Humor - 7.8
Music/Audio - 8.4
Ambiance - 9.1



Bully is not just a great expansion of GTA’s concept, but it also holds up on its own as a great game. Fun, cynical, and at times perverted humored game, with a lot of sidequests, neat ideas, colorful characters, and a fantastic soundtrack. All in all, this is a school simulator that you do not want to skip.

User Rating: 4.35 ( 1 votes)

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines - including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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