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Encounter 3: Lynn's Sleepover Reviews
Author: Christopher Cole
What does AIF stand for? Adult Interactive Fiction.
If you likely to
be offended by games with sexual content, you are advised not
to open these files.
Reviewed by Evil Bacteria
After a series of truly great games, Christopher Cole has produced this, a game that falls far below the standard his earlier works have set. Mind you, this means Encounter 3 is still far and away better than most AIF, but compared to the previous two "Encounters" games, it's quite a disappointment.
The Good Points:
As always, Cole's game design skills and masterful use of the English language shine through. By typing "rules" you get a nice set of instructions on how to play, which is important because this game differs from standard AIF. The list of necessary commands is spelled out helpfully, and whenever a new situation arises, the game tells you in bold what the new commands are. There's no reason why anyone should have trouble playing this game; even using the computer (which has traditionally been a pain in the ass in IF) is simple to do.
The Bad Points:
Encounter 3 differs from the previous Encounters games in two ways. First, there is no sex. None. Your character is a 15-year-old kid who is spying on his sister and her friend, and since these are the only characters in the game, this precludes the possibility of getting busy. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the game still manages to be interesting, but it might turn some people off.
The second point is that Encounter 3 comes with pictures, unlike Cole's previous work. Rather than just giving descriptions of whoever it is you're looking at, the game gives a description and a nice color picture. The problem is that there are two people you can look at: a pasty white, doughy chick and an all-too-skinny, flat-chested girl. There are a few shots that, quite frankly, kind of make me hesitant to approach members of the opposite sex in the future if they're going to look like that. While I can give a nod to Cole for apparently getting people to pose for him, it would be nice if he had found some attractive people to take pictures of. You can also look at some posters in the main character's room, which I highly suggest doing, since they're much more fun to look at.
Encounter 3 is quite a dive in quality from Cole's previous offerings, mostly owing to the poor (shall I say, repulsive) pictures and the overall lack of things to do. Without any sex in the game, once you've seen all the pictures, there's no reason to play it again. The design is crystal clear, and you'll never get stuck playing "guess the word" with the parser, but a strong framework can't make up for a flawed execution.
Reviewed by Purple Dragon (Inside
Erin Volume 4 Number 9 - September 2008)
Your sister Lynn is having a friend over to spend the night. You overheard them talking about plans for the night, which involve taking pictures of each other for their boyfriends. You have recently found an old heating grill in your closet that looks right into Lynn's room and you plan on having a ringside seat
to the photo shoot.
If you're looking for a game with heavy sexual contact then this isn't the one you're looking for. Heaven knows that Chris certainly has more than a few games to choose from if that's what you're looking for, but the focus here is on spying and not the sex. This isn't a bad thing (in my opinion anyway), just different.
You are dropped into the shoes of a 15-year-old boy and Chris did a good job of developing the character and showing you what he is all about. Don't neglect taking a good look around your room. Here you will find the posters, magazines, and Internet stuff that most 15 year olds are supposed to have. Cliché yes, but it's a cliché for a reason.
The game play here is different from most other AIF titles. There are none of the typical sexual commands and no point system. Instead, the object is to spy on your sister and her friend, and try to collect all the pictures included with the game. There also aren't really any puzzles to speak of. There are a couple of things that could have been puzzles, but since the games tells you exactly what to type at those points, they can hardly be considered such.
Since the main NPC in the game is your sister, you may wonder why I didn't include "incest" in the list of contents above. This is because there is no direct sexual contact between you and your sister. In fact, I might have been able to leave off the underage warning since there is actually no sexual contact between the PC and anyone else at all (except for himself and you'd pretty much expect that from a 15 year old boy).
This game is all about voyeurism. There are a couple of opportunities to spy on your sister and in one case, her friend Brianna is also there. Basically, the game involves putting yourself in a position to do the spying and then using commands to watch what is going on. To make the scenes a bit fuller, a few extra commands were added so 'x lynn', 'look at lynn', and 'watch lynn' will actually give you three different responses. In addition to this, the commands may also give a different response the second time you try them, or depending on whether the girl you're looking at is clothed or not. The possible commands are rounded out by being able to examine the individual body parts of the girls.
The nice thing about the system is that many of the commands (including the body part commands) will give a mini-cutscene. So, for instance, typing 'x lynn's pussy' might give you just a description of her pussy at one point, but in the right situation, may instead tell you what she (or someone else) is doing to it at the moment.
The game is technically clean, but then again, it doesn't really attempt anything very complicated. One of the stated goals of the game is to try to see all the pictures available. It would have been nice if the game had tracked these for you rather than, as the readme file suggests, having to keep track of them yourself with paper and pen.
I've mentioned a couple of times that this game is all about voyeurism. That is what the game claims to be, and that is what it is. I think it's a refreshing change from the normal 'fuck anything that moves' type of game (not that there is anything wrong with those by any means) and shows that not all AIF games have to follow the same format. While the sex is limited and pretty tame by Chris' and other authors normal standards, what is here is still well written and hot and produces an enjoyable little romp.
Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.
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