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Escape Pod (expanded version) Reviews
Author: Love Letters To Love
What does AIF stand for? Adult Interactive Fiction.
If you likely to
be offended by games with sexual content, you are advised not
to open these files.
Reviewed by A. Ninny (Inside Erin: The AIF Newsletter, Volume 1 Number 10, November, 2005)
You are a male crew member on a space station that has recently come under attack, and you were forced to evacuate. You and two female crew members are adrift in space in a disabled escape pod with nothing to do except .. um .. exercise.
I previously wrote a review of the mini-comp version of this game, a review in which I spent some time criticizing it for going beyond the scope of the competition (the spirit of the comp, anyway – the game did technically follow the rules). Obviously, now that there’s no comp-set limits, LL2L could and did expand the scope further, in this case by adding an NPC. I question this decision. Why expand the game only by one NPC but not really add any additional story, motivation, exploration or puzzles? Obviously, the reason is that LL2L had some alternative sexual characterization he wanted to explore. The new female character has a much different personality than does the first one, and the sex scenes do benefit with quite a bit of interest because of the addition.
The game is still well written, and it has a vast amount of background information. Each of the characters will give you their life story if you ask them, and really, the stories do remain mostly consistent with the way they engage the PC in sex. Still, despite being interesting to read, in the end, you can’t really do anything with the stuff you learn about Hensley and Verrin and so it’s all mostly irrelevant. If the game would continue beyond the escape pod scene, you could probably do a lot of heroic adventuring with the Hensley character in particular.
There are no real puzzles in this game – what you have more of are a sequence of sexual preliminaries that must be fulfilled before the real sex can start. The presumed objective, that of fixing the escape pod so that you can hope to survive being lost in outer space, can surprisingly be ignored – that’s not what this game is about.
Once it gets going, the sex in Escape Pod is amazingly interactive. LL2L spent a great deal of time implementing tons of body parts (you can interact with the NPCs’ elbows, hands, knees, toes, etc), and numerous extra verbs (he differentiates ‘kiss’, ‘suck’, and ‘lick’ for example). It’s extremely well written and hot, and takes advantage of the zero-gravity environment in some very creative ways. The hyper- detailed sex amplifies the feeling that all the extra background in the rest of the game is just that: extra, and the game could very easily be nothing but sex.
I found one major bug that seemed to cause the game to be unplayable, in which one character never warmed up no matter what I tried. When I restarted and tried again using the walkthrough, this problem disappeared. Other than that, there are a few minor bugs and misspellings but nothing too distracting. Mostly, the game worked surprisingly well, especially considering how many varieties of sex commands were responded to.
My personal reaction is that the expanded game is a letdown when compared to the original. The story is more irrelevant than it was before; LL2L should have put in the effort to broaden it and made more reason for these characters to have been in this particular escape pod together, and more reason to add the second NPC. The game has great ‘A’, minimal ‘I’ and pretty much no ‘F’. It wastes very good sex writing and a promising effort at making characters, and I think this author just needs to put it all together with a real story and more interactive content.
Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.
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