Tender Loving Care

aka: Die Versuchung, TLC
Moby ID: 1414
Windows Specs
Buy on Windows
$5.99 new on Steam

Description official descriptions

Things haven't been easy for Michael Overton and his wife Allison. The young couple has experienced a terrible tragedy - the death of their daughter in a car accident. While Michael seems to deal with the shock better, Allison has gradually descended into a delusional state, unable to accept reality and function normally as an adult. Dr. Turner, a psychologist, suggests the Overtons hire a live-in nurse for Allison, and recommends a young woman named Katherine Randolph. However, new dark tensions start arising shortly after the nurse moves in.

Tender Loving Care is an interactive movie with limited adventure-like gameplay segments. The game is divided into chapters, each consisting of four parts. The first part consists of a non-interactive story episode presented as a short live action film. Afterwards, the player is asked several questions by Dr. Turner concerning his understanding of the events he just witnessed. The third part involves first-person exploration of still graphical images representing various locations in the house. There are no puzzles or other challenges during that phase, but the player may uncover diaries or other items that shed more light on the story. Finally, the fourth part consists of taking a Thematic Apperception Test: the player is shown various images accompanied by questions and a list of answers, and is given a psychological profile depending on his choices. The story that develops through the movie portions may also be affected by the player's answers.

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Credits (Windows version)

193 People (182 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

Written by
Directed by
Interactive Design
Executive Producer
Producer
Director of Photography
Based on a Novel by
Production Designer
Lead Software Engineer
Editor
Music
Interactive Script
Sound Design
Cast
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 70% (based on 16 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings with 3 reviews)

Need any more reason why FMV gaming died a horrible, flaming death?

The Good
The good point on this one is that it still tries to give the interactive movie genre a decent go even after most of the industry considers this a dead end. Also, the presence of John Hurt lends itself heavily to the title, and he does a good job considering the material he got handed here. The psychological worksheets are entertaining, and the ability to read your own test profile is one of the high points here, which is actually too bad considering that this is a minor distraction at best.

The Bad
FMV gaming is dead, and this kind of product is the reason. The story was heinous, something you'd expect to see on a cable direct erotic thriller, most of the actors turned in sub-standard performances excepting John Hurt. Even his screen presence was reduced by a makeup job and hairstyle that made him look like he was having his midlife crisis WAY late. The script is horrible, the camera work is amateur, and with few exceptions the whole reel just lacks. Also, there's not enough info on how to access the alternate scenes and endings. The psychological tests are very obvious about how they rate YOU, but as far as how they effect the movie... I'm still mystified.

The Bottom Line
This game gets a single play for the novelty; It's the first one you can actually sit back and drink a beer while playing, at least with any efficiency. A better story, script, and overall cast might have made the project more acceptible and given the genre a kickstart, but in the end TLC doesn't make the cut and FMV gaming still lies at the bottem of a deep river.

Windows · by Vance (94) · 2000

Movie and game? Not much of either, actually

The Good
The concept of a full-blown movie with adventure-like interactivity has fascinated many minds, but produced surprisingly few results. Tender Loving Care is, in fact, a fairly rare example of that concept fully realized. Some were quick to dub games like Phantasmagoria "interactive movies" despite the fact they were actually games with movie sequences. Tender Loving Care is the exact opposite: it's a movie that is interrupted only several times to let you play.

I have no objections to mature themes such as psychological disorders, believable sexual tension, etc., finding their way through the realm of interactive entertainment. The "quiz" parts are quite interesting, and the questions are generally fairly smart. That was actually the only part I kind of enjoyed while playing (watching?) the game. In addition, the quiz parts are accompanied by very intriguing erotic paintings, photos, and other works of art, which fit very well both the questions and the general nature of the game. The idea of having a branching movie depending on your actions in the game sounds good on paper - until we are confronted with its realization.

The Bad
Tender Loving Care is far from being good as a game. In fact, the paltry amount of gameplay hardly makes it qualify for being a game in the first place. Suffice to say that there are hentai games that seem like a highly interactive experience compared to this title. All you do here is click on places that allow you to be invited to the next series of questions, which you then must answer in order to trigger the next part of the movie. I'm not sure whether such an activity can be really called "gameplay". There is zero challenge in those parts, and they feel horribly dead and disjointed when you are torn away from watching.

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, 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 will be actually "lying" in order to see a different scene. Instead of giving you some branching decisions to make during the game, they give you those quiz parts just to distract you from the plot, since they have no connection to what happens in the movie and only evaluate you, the player. What we have here, in essence, is a couple of minigames with no relation to each other and no gameplay value whatsoever.

But maybe Tender Loving Care is good as a movie? No, not at all. Take any component of cinematography and you'll see how lacking it is in this product. The plot is cheesy and pretentious; the acting is average at best; direction and camera work leave a lot to be desired. Even the aforementioned Phantasmagoria beats it fair and square in cinematic value - not to mention it's a better game.

The Bottom Line
Tender Loving Care tried to be a movie and a game at once, but failed on both fronts: as a movie, it fails to captivate, and as a game, it is disastrously shallow and non-interactive. It is a curious relic of an era that had high hopes for what, in essence, could probably never work.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181766) · 2014

A totally different experience from the usual video games.

The Good
This is more interactive movie than video game. There is no right and wrong way to proceed, just alternative ways to effect the action. The psychological tests were interesting, and I enjoyed trying different answers to see what effect they would have on the plot. I also enjoyed the adult nature of the story. It is definitely not geared toward a teen audience, as there is brief nudity and an overall mature theme. I also enjoyed being able to relax in my living room, play this on my DVD player, and view it on my big screen TV. It was a unique experience.

The Bad
The save game feature was a bit clumsy.

The Bottom Line
This is an interactive movie for adults. It has an interesting plot that is effected by your answers to multiple choice questions...a sort of psychological profile of the player based on your impressions of art, relationships, and the game's story. It is a unique, slow-paced, intellectual approach to interactive gaming.

DVD Player · by Rodney Mayton (17) · 2001

Discussion

Subject By Date
Corrections Cantillon (79744) Jul 31, 2023
Regarding the "DVD Video Version" firefang9212 (81846) Jan 19, 2018
RIP John Hurt! Pseudo_Intellectual (66546) Jan 30, 2017

Trivia

Awards

  • ICDIA and IDMA Awards
    • November 15, 1997 - Gold Award (DVD category)
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1999 - The Sigmund Freund Memorial Award

Information also contributed by Patrick Bregger.

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1414
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

iPhone, iPad added by MrMamen. DVD Player added by firefang9212.

Additional contributors: -Chris, Jeanne, Cantillon.

Game added May 5, 2000. Last modified September 23, 2023.