Rockett's New School is a visual novel of sorts that was developed and published by Purple Moon and released in 1997. It is the first game in the Rockett series by release order, which is set approximately one year after the Secret Paths series and one year before The Starfire Soccer Challenge, which was aimed to spin off a new Starfire Soccer series. The Rockett series included three subsequent award-winning titles: Rockett's Tricky Decision, Rockett's Secret Invitation, and Rockett's First Dance. The character-based Purple Moon website also became one of the largest and most active online communities ever to exist on the net.
''Rockett's New School' was released concurrently with Secret Paths in the Forest and quickly became one of the most recognizable titles in connection with the beginning of the 1990's surge of girl-oriented computer games, the others including McKenzie and Co. and Barbie Fashion Designer.
Rockett Movado arrives at her first day of grade eight at Whistling Pines Jr. High, clearly unfamiliar with anything that goes on around her. The loudspeaker spouts a corny greeting and she begins her day with meeting the sweet, soft-spoken Jessie Marbella. The choices that the player makes from here on determine the revelation of certain plot points and whether or not certain events transpire, but the game always uses this basic framework: Rockett and Jessie become separated, and she goes to her locker, only to have Whitney Weiss, member of the elite clique "The Ones," criticise her plain-looking outfit, which happens to be uncannily similar to that of another girl. Whitney is driven off by not wanting to be seen with another approaching student, Mavis Wartella-Depew, a nerdy psychic; if Rockett chooses to help her open her locker, a choice reinforced by the canon of later games, Mavis gives her a mystical "elf rune" whose magic needs to be recharged.
Rockett goes to homeroom, where Whitney sits by her; challenged as to why, the blonde explains that her friend Nicole Whittaker is spreading (true, though she denies it) rumours that Whitney went miniature golfing with the dorky Arnold Zeitbaum, who harbours an unrequited crush on her. The over-the-top homeroom teacher Mr. Baldus calls Rockett up to the front of the room to introduce herself. Afterwards, Jessie gives Rockett a note explaining the main social groups of the school, the major two being the Ones (Nicole, Whitney and Stephanie Hollis) and an equally elite trio, the fun-loving, secretive CSGs. Rockett proceeds to the cafeteria, where she catches the girl that's dressed like her glaring at her and has a bad run-in with obnoxious, disgusting Bill Pill, head of food services. After figuring out where to sit (the choices being the Ones' table, with Jessie and kind guitar player Ruben Rosales, or by herself), Rockett eats and goes off to art class.
There, she meets the girl with the similar outfit, Dana St. Clair, who takes an instant dislike to Rockett. However, her friends Nakili Abuto and Miko Kajiyama, fellow CSGs, like Rockett on the spot and tell Dana that she's overreacting. Rockett doodles a Sagittarius symbol on scrap paper, which piques the interest of the CSGs, but then the art teacher walks in. He decides to wax poetic about the conflict between Rockett and Dana, gives Rockett a tie-dyed shirt from the paint shirt bin so they won't be wearing the same thing, and appoints her head of the yearbook committee, much to Miko's dismay.
Rockett leaves art class only to be complimented by Nicole on her shirt and appointed as her replacement walking companion, as Whitney has walked off on Nicole for spreading the mini-golf rumour. Whatever happens, someone comes with the strong intent of keeping Rockett and Nicole from parting on friendly terms, and Nicole leaves Rockett in front of the women's washroom in disgust. Rockett goes in and finds a group notebook that contains extremely private and sensitive information about a group that is either the Ones or the CSGs; Rockett figures out which, but the owner is not revealed to the player until the third game. She becomes privy to a confrontation between Miko, Dana and Mavis, clears things up temporarily, and looks into the mirror for help. Her best friend from her old school, Meg O'Riley, appears in the mirror and gives her advice, and Rockett ends her day optimistic about the year.