The “Adults Only” rating offered by the ESRB is the kiss of death for a game’s potential success at retail. Large retail chains, like Walmart, will not stock and shelve a video game with an AO rating stamped on its face. Our sexually repressed culture, which is at the same time damning of and obsessed with sex, still sees video games as children’s toys, and not the favorite past time of millions of 20- and 30-somethings. We grew up saving princesses and racing go-karts, but as we have matured, so have our tastes.
So, it is refreshing when a game developer, even a small, independent developer like No Reply Games, throws a hand of defiance into society’s face and offers video gaming adults an adult gaming experience.
Seduce Me is this experience, and it definitely fits the bill. Available as a download directly from No Reply Games, Seduce Me challenges the player to one thing: have sex.
Seduce Me knows its players are out for thrills, and it certainly cuts to the chase. Your character, a strapping, sexually available man, meets an attractive socialite, Pietra, at a photo shoot. Pietra likes you enough to invite you to spend time at her posh, seaside Mediterranean mansion for a little leisure activity. The mansion is stocked with a cadre of attractive and remarkably horny women, and it is your task to charm your way into as many pairs of panties as possible. While it is not a very complex story, each woman you meet at the mansion has her own back-story and personality. As you interface with each, you begin to learn the best way to charm your way into each woman’s… *ahem*… heart.
Seduce Me is a simple turn-based strategy game. The game challenges the player to win conversation matches against the ladies, using a card-based gameplay system. Winning or losing matches positively or negatively affects three important status meters: intimacy, attraction, and popularity. Everything you do in the game affects your popularity meter. The more popular you are, the more you are able to make inroads with the women. If your popularity drops to zero, you will be thrown out of the mansion, and the game will end. Each woman has her own intimacy and attraction meters. If you are able to max out both meters of one woman, you win. To do this, you must engage in conversation matches. As you slowly build a relationship with a woman, you are able to engage in tantalizing acts from sexually charged confessions of her first time, to a spirited bout of full-on horizontal sheet twister.
There are several variations of card games depending on what you are doing: small talk, flirting, three-way conversations, etc. These differing games are loosely based on card games such as gin rummy, poker, and others. Each match only takes a couple of minutes. It takes one complete play-through to get the hang of it, and each play-through only takes a few hours. The game also provides a short practice tutorial of each type of card game.
The card matches are addictive and fun to play. It is easy to play the game in short, casual intervals. The problem is each character has the same personality each time, and the strategy never changes. Each character also has only a few possible sexual acts you can experience. After a handful of full play-throughs, you will have seen all of the sexually explicit material the game has to offer, and there is little left to surprise you. The gameplay is what will draw you back to the experience, and the card games are solid enough to do that.
I hope that the people at No Reply Games are reading this, because I would like to suggest that this game would be perfect for the Android and iOS operating systems. The game has no serious graphics challenges (more on this below), and, at its core, the experience plays as a collection of mini games, which would make it ideal for a mobile platform.
This is where things might get a little disappointing for players only looking for a cheap thrill. The entire game uses comic book style panels. There are no animations in the game at all. There are also no 3D models. I never spotted a single polygon. You wander through mansion rooms using a point-and-click interface, and your interactions with the women are all still frame, hand drawn 2D images. This means the most salacious parts of the game are single panel pictures. This is not likely to set your pants on fire; we live in the age of all the free internet porn one can handle. However, the images are definitely X-rated, and are like nothing I have ever seen… in a video game, at least.
The simplicity of the graphics makes the game a breeze to handle for even the most meager PC. This is why I feel the game would be perfect for a mobile platform, especially since the game’s control interface is accomplished entirely with a mouse. The game would easily transfer to a touch-panel control interface on a smart phone or tablet. In addition, the casualness of the gameplay is ideal for the bite-sized sessions inherent to mobile gaming.
There are no moans, no guttural grunts, no pleased cooing. Dialog (and moans of pleasure) is all text based. There is only the sound of smooth, jazzy, make-out music accompanying everything you do in the game. The music is very well written and produced. The game’s soundtrack is actually something I might listen to as relaxing background music in the car or in the office. The deluxe version of the game includes a digital copy of the game’s soundtrack, and it is only a couple of Euros more; it is definitely worth it.
The game’s structure and graphics are so uncomplicated that bugs did not even bother to invade.
It is not the full on, full-motion pornographic experience some may be looking for. However, Seduce Me is still the most sexually explicit video game I have ever played. The gameplay is simple and addictive, and serves the strategic bend of its structure perfectly. The music stands out as particularly memorable, which is good since it is the only audio in the game. I hope developer No Reply Games will eventually port it to mobile platforms.
You can purchase Seduce Me digitally directly from No Reply Games, and for only €13, it is highly recommended… as long as you are old enough!
The story is just enough to set the context for your sexual escapades.
A turn-based, card-based strategy game, Seduce Me is easy to learn, and hard to put down. Unfortunately, the strategy grows somewhat stale after a few play-throughs.
The visuals are all 2D, comic book style panels, but they serve the casual tone of the game well enough.
While there is not a voice to be heard, the jazzy soundtrack is brilliant.
FINAL SCORE: B