The Secret Of St Brides

St Brides surely has to rank as one of the more curious development houses in our history of videogames.

A school for young girls age 13-18 where anyone could be a girl (and more usually, realistically aged 20 upwards) with a foot firmly cemented in an almost victorian view of the world. Not the first place you’d expect to find game development done but there we go. Throughout the eighties they produced games that ranged from quirky “in school” adventures to spoofs of known and popular adventure games (a surprisingly well filled niche at the time) to an excellent game based on Jack The Ripper. Obviously

The prospectus (courtesy of Mocagh) gives little away about any game development done there (and why would it?) and an old Crash interview does wonders in skirting what St Brides as an institution is although you get the strange feeling that no-one quite expected what they found there.

It was a more innocent time, I’m sure.

There’s a fantastic article [archive link] from one of 2014’s GamesTM mags that details some of the chequered history of St Brides both as a development house and as an institution and, well, a cursory online search provides many stories about what came after St Brides with the founding of Aristasia [archive link] amongst other things. There’s also a Channel 4 documentary on life with Miss Martindale from the mid nineties, the first part is embedded below.

And if you’re looking for a starting point? The Secret Of St Brides is as good as any but well, it’s very of its time and the situations you find yourself in far from conventional. Conventional is for bores though.

[first published March 30th 2015, updated Dec 2020]