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Tender Loving Care

aka: Die Versuchung, TLC
Moby ID: 1414

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 70% (based on 16 ratings)

Player Reviews

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

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

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 (181748) · 2014

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

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Jeanne, Zerobrain, Mr Creosote, Patrick Bregger, Scaryfun, Wizo, Xoleras, Cantillon, Jan Geerling.