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The Home of Otter Interactive Fiction

Plan69 Reviews
Author: Cauldron
Date: 2003
ADRIFT 4.0


Reviewed by A. Bomire

Overall Thoughts: 
This game is quirky, and definitely over-the-top. The author, Cauldron, is obviously a fan of the classic sci-fi movie Plan 9 from Outer Space, as the game opens with a quote (both audio and visual) from that movie. The movie is famous for being possibly the worst film ever made, and to me it seems that Cauldron is going for this type of low-budget feel in his game. The situations are outrageous, the characters are all larger than life, and the whole game has a sort-of over-the-top cheesiness that is repelling and yet appealing in an odd way. 

Puzzles/Game play: 
Some of the puzzles in this game are a little harder than is usual for an AIF game, although there is one that is made particularly easy, even if it was an accident. There is an area that you are not supposed to get access to unless you have a key, but you can access it anytime you want. This game does present one thing that really drives me crazy: really big pictures. Pictures so large they cover the entire screen. They are well done, and Cauldron is a remarkable artist. However, I found myself constantly minimizing them or closing them to continue with the game. You could turn off this feature and have them shown in-line with the text. I found that doing this caused the game to run exceedingly slow, with constant pressing of the spacebar for "More" prompts. My usual solution to this problem is to turn off pictures all-together. However, Cauldron's exceedingly sparse descriptions preclude this, as often the only thing you have to go on is the picture. For example, the response to "fuck maid" is "She's hot as embers!" followed by the picture of the PC having sex with the maid. This annoyance really clouded my enjoyment of the game. 

Technical: 
There are a few technical issues in this game. There is the key I mentioned above which isn't really necessary to access one area. This is a good thing, because the game trigger in which you are supposed to receive the key says that the NPC gives it to you, but your inventory does not show it, and in fact there is no key. There are quite a few misspellings as well. 

Intangibles: 
This game gives me the impression of someone really trying hard to achieve a feeling of those old low-budget 50's sci-fi films. Unfortunately, for me, it just doesn't work. Everything feels a little forced, a little too much like "Here…look at me! I'm so outrageous as to be ridiculous!" 

Final Thoughts: 
If you enjoy quirky, humorous games…then this might be the game for you. Unfortunately, I found it too much, and the picture issue I mentioned early in my review was just the capper. The game is still enjoyable, however, just not as good as it could have been. 

Rating: C 


Reviewed by Christopher Cole

Overall Thoughts: 
This game is weird. That's pretty much the best way to sum it up. It's weird for a number of reasons which I will touch upon, not all of them weird in a good sort of way. The game includes original pictures (which are done in a sort of cartoonish way) and sounds. Cauldron somehow manages to create a fairly thick atmosphere in this game even though he's not overly wordy with his descriptions and the story itself is quite flat (you basically move from one sexual encounter to another). I'm still not quite sure how he does this, but it's probably mostly due to the fact that his original pictures (drawn by Cauldron himself) fit the mood of the game perfectly, and they are fun to look at. 

Cauldron does not speak English as his native language and it shows in the game. I know for a fact the game went through fairly serious corrections in the testing stage, but even so it still has numerous spelling and grammatical problems and many nuance problems (such as 'parfuming' items). Sometimes this actually works within the surreal surroundings of the game, but sometimes it simply reads as bad English. It does not even come close to a Vachon game however, and I found the writing to be acceptable and didn't really detract from the game. 

Did I mention the game was weird? I've played it through probably three times now and I'm still not sure exactly what's going on. It's almost like a seriously fucked up sex dream. I have seriously fucked up sex dreams quite often, so I found the whole weird atmosphere of the game to be refreshing. Unfortunately I didn't find the sex to be very in-depth, and if it weren't for the pictures, the sex would probably have been boring (and some of the acts are not acts I find sexy). 

Puzzles/Game play: 
The game plays fairly smoothly with the exception of the sex scenes, which I'll touch on more below. There were a few minor bugs but nothing that detracted from the game on a major level. The plot, as mentioned, is a little hard to understand, and perhaps the gameplay from from a plot perspective may have been smoother if more of a background/story had been given at the beginning of the game regarding the Fall, and what exactly you, as the PC, are up to. 

Sex: 
All in all the sex is rather bland in this game. Let me rephrase that: the sex *writing* is bland, for certainly the sexual situations are anything but bland when you have public masturbation, watersports, alien sex, and so on. The only thing that really sets the sex apart are the pictures. I prefer pictures in games/stories to be much more realistic, and not cartoonish as these ones are, but they do work within the parameters of the story. 

Perhaps more should have been written in the readme file regarding how sex works in this game. Don't expect a whole lot of examining and manipulating of body parts or varied sexual activities with each NPC. Usually each NPC has one or two things you can do to them and then the scene is over. There's nothing wrong with this type of game, but a little knowledge before hand that that's what one should expect would have been nice. 

Technical: 
This game is relatively sound technically speaking. It works well written in ADRIFT 4.0. I like the fact that pictures and sounds in 4.0 can be integrated into the game file itself so that you don't have to include them in the game file. This ensures players won't look at the pictures out of game. Though this is a double-edged sword as once you are done playing the game, you can't easily look at all the pictures again. 

Intangibles: 
This game was the winner of the 2003 AIFA for Best Multimedia. The pictures in the game are original drawings by the author. 

Final Thoughts: 
I enjoyed this game overall. The two main reasons for this are the pictures and the atmosphere. The sex isn't the greatest unfortunately and this is a shame. I think a little more interactivity (especially since this is primarily a game where you move from one sex scene to the next) in the sex scenes would have been nice, or at least a little more text in the few sexual commands you could accomplish with each NPC. I would have liked to have seen more of an intro so I had a better idea of what the heck was going on. 

I think this game is worth a play just to experience the weirdness and great original pictures. 

Rating: C+ 


Reviewed by VISOR

Overall Thoughts: 
This is hands down the cutest AIF game I've ever played, due solely to the pictures drawn by Cauldron that accompany the text. I especially loved the Modern Art gag. Without the pictures, the game would be clever but forgettable. 

Plot: 
Well thought out. The characters are certainly all distinctive though I found I interesting that Cauldron did decide to use one real celebrity. The back story about the Fall though it adds nothing to the game at least provides an explanation as to why everybody is so anxious to have sex with you, which is of course the great unanswered question of AIF. I kind of wish I was in the universe where the Fall occurred, instead of the one where Bush got reelected. 

Puzzles/Game play: 
Pretty straightforward although sometimes the puzzles lack a certain logic. For example, with the tourists, I figured out what to do but I took me some time to figure out how to do it. 

Intangibles: 
I would have preferred it if an identity had been chosen for the player by Cauldron as my own name didn't really seem to fit the persona of the character. I find myself using "Brad Stallion" (star of Sex Olympics and other old computer games) as a name for this game. (I also use "Larry David" for GNA.) 

Sex: 
Amusing, because of the pictures, though the descriptions are funny too, but not really erotic. 

Final Thoughts: 
It is a fun game, and a funny game and one that I find myself replaying often, but for amusement rather than to challenge myself mentally or arouse myself physically. 

Rating: B+ 


Reviewed by PSurge 

I didn't finish this game. I can't tolerate playing games that crash. It smacks of poor betatesting.

I will review what I finished, however.

The protagonist plays a porn star, and quite a successful one too. Apparently, he even won an Oscar for one of these roles. That's right. The game is set in the distant (2006) future after some sort of cataclysmic event that apparently changed the morales and standards of society. It's not very believable, but most AIF isn't. I'm not knocking that at all. Any excuse to write erotica is good enough for me.

That's the problem. The writing is poor. Normally, this would be reason enough for me NOT to play a game, but the Author does have an interesting way to get around this deficiency. He has drawn all the artwork for his game himself, and is quite talented. Really talented. While the artwork is very nice, unfortunately it is quite static. The actual text descriptions of the sex are of the bare-bones type, and don't really evoke any sort of eroticism within themselves. The first scene which the whole (that I could find) provide us with this text:

Oooooh nice!.... more, give me more!...

On repitition of the action (which is the only one available) you get:

Yesyesyesyes!...YEEEEEES!

Not quite unforgivable, due to the artwork, but the Author commits a serious crime which makes me not to want to play any game that does it. He comments on different things in the game, during the game, as the author. Here are two examples:

"By the way, if someone is OK to write the description of the missing actions, just tell me. Writing long texts in english is not my fort, it's not my native language."

"By the way, don't you think it's funny that one of the few places of the game with no girl is the brothel? No? Ah sorry then....."

When the runner crashed a few moments later, I quit the game, and started this review.

Anyway, here's the breakdown (1-10):

Plot: 5 - I didn't get far enough into the game to discover much of the plot, so I'll give this a medium score.

Setting: 7 - Good setting for an interesting AIF game. A post catastrophic porn hungry world.

NPCs: 3 - I had little interaction with the characters, but the little I did showed them to be quite shallow, and not very interactive. The one character I had an encounter with did not seem to realize that we already had the encounter, and kept prompting me to do it. When I tried, she told me that she didn't want to anymore... This type of thing is easily done in ADRIFT, and is really required for a better gaming experience.

Writing: 0 - Ouch. This seems a bit harsh, since the Author isn't a native english speaker, but there were too many noticeable errors that caught my eye, and I'm a poor writer myself. While the artwork is top-notch for an AIF game, it can't substitute for action sequences.

Media: 10 - This is where the game shines. The artwork is really excellent.

Bugs: 0 - I encountered a game ending bug VERY early in the game. I'll go out on a limb and say that the game was not thouroughly tested. I know that ADRIFT in it's most recent releases has been a bit buggy, but normal playtesting will uncover these bugs.

Overall - 25/60

Bad or no writing, poor NPC's and buggy, I would deem this game unplayable if it weren't for the artwork, of which I probably saw very little of.

Suggestions: This author needs to collaborate with a native English speaker. In leiu of that, he needs to keep working on his writing skills, and continue to make games. Practice makes, erm, better. Yeah, that's it. 


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