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Tender Loving Care (Windows)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  אולג 小奥 (168675)
Written on  :  Dec 10, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars

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The Good

Great overall concept of making an interactive movie with a mature content, an erotic thriller, so to say. The "quiz" parts were very interesting, and most of the questions were anything else but stupid. That was actually the only part I kind of enjoyed while playing (watching?) the game. In addition, the quiz parts were accompanied by very intriguing erotic paintings, photos, and other works of art, which fitted very well both the questions and the general nature of the game. The idea of having a movie-game that will develop according to your actions is not a bad one. Pity it was implemented in such a way...

The Bad

This is not a game. This is not a movie. I don't know what it really tries to be, but it fails. As a game, it is so poor, that it can hardly be considered as such. Enough to say that Three Sisters' Story may seem a highly interactive experience compared to this title. Not to mention it has a way better story. If we assume that "Tender Loving Care" is indeed a game, then it must be the poorest game ever conceived, because all you do in it is click on places that allow you to be invited to the next series of questions that you must answer in order to trigger the next part of the movie. I don't know if such an activity can really be called "gameplay". Besides, although the quiz parts are interesting, they are interesting only as such. There is no way to tell in which direction your answers will push the game. Of course, it gives it a replayability value, since you can always restore or restart the game and give another answers to the questions, but then the quiz parts will lose any importance as such, because you, the player, will be actually "lying" in order to have a different development in the game... you see what I mean? Instead of giving you some "branching" decisions to make during the game, like most of the hentai games do, they give you those quiz parts just to distract you from the plot, that make no sense whatsoever regarding the game as a whole. The interactivity level of this title, its actual gameplay, is dangerously close to zero.

So as a game, "Tender Loving care" is not that good; but maybe as a movie? Well, as a movie, it is even worse, believe it or not. Whether plotline, acting, script, camera work, or anything else - everything here is below average. If you think games with live actors can't be good movies, check out both Phantasmagoria games or any of the great Tex Murphy series. Besides, the video quality of the CD version is simply awful. I can't believe this thing was released in 1998! What were they thinking?! Martian Memorandum has a better video quality than this one.

The Bottom Line

A big failure instead of a big success - that's what this game is. The concept is good, and if it were worked on properly, it could have changed the whole development of gaming, and change it to the good. Actually it is a nice piece of software, and it can entertain you for some time. But if you yearn, just like me, for a good adventure without puzzles, for a good interactive movie, I'm afraid this one is not a good choice. Neither as a game, nor as a movie. Better play hentai games. No kidding.