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Moist Reviews

Author: Scarlet Herring
Date: 1999
TADS


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 A. Ninny

Overall Thoughts:

Simply put: Moist is a classic. It has a fantastic amount going for it, including a concise and well-conceived (if somewhat hardboiled) story, four varied and lovingly-rendered NPC’s, environments that convey their atmosphere without being wordy, and most of all, sex scenes that set a high standard for technical delivery and hotness. It also has smart puzzles, an elaborate hint system and a bunch of fun ‘bonus material’ in the way of dirty graffiti and erotic stories. All in all, Moist comes off very complete, very well executed and most of all, very fun.

The concept behind Moist is not terribly ambitious in that it doesn’t fling a player into the far stratosphere of high-concept IF gaming. For one thing, the game’s non-sex writing uses just enough text to set an atmosphere and no more. As an example of this, in one instance, “You are standing in a large hallway, hewn out of solid rock” is all that is provided. For another, it uses extremely conventional IF constructs. It has object puzzles, magical items, dark spaces (no grue, however), and, imagine this: a rope. In another conventional touch, you are told your entire task shortly after starting and it is up to you as the player to decide how to go about the game. Rather like the original Zork series, there’s little linearity to how you traverse the game (you may satisfy the three servants in any order you wish). I strongly believe, however, that this conventionality and brevity was completely intentional. Moist doesn’t seek to be an earth-shattering work of IF. Instead, it entirely sets itself apart in what Scarlet Herring was trying to achieve with its sexual content.

Sex:

The main thing you notice when playing Moist is that in terms of the sex, pretty much anything goes. Scarlet Herring has anticipated almost everything that a player might try to do with (and to) his NPC’s, and has provided specific actions to respond to them. As one example, you will obtain different responses if you attempt to fuck a NPC’s pussy if she has a dildo up her ass, if she has a vibrator up her ass or if her ass is un-violated. Scarlet Herring was also one of the first (if not the first) to use an incremental excitement meter for all the characters. This allowed him to provide different responses to sex actions depending on how aroused his characters are. As a downside to this, players end up repeating commands numerous times and until arousal thresholds are crossed, receive unchanging responses. The four women in Moist are, thankfully, all very different from one another. Scarlet Herring took four archetypes (maid, businesswoman, dominatrix, woman of leisure) and made them as real as possible given their surroundings. They don’t have a lot of dimension to them, but then again, Moist is an erotic fantasy. Each has a different puzzle to unlock them, and each has a different path to satisfying them. Of the four, the two that satisfy me most are Ilsa the dominatrix and Kim the accountant. You get the sense that Scarlet Herring was having the most fun with them; Kim doles out the sex in one-turn tease-y snippets, each barely whetting the player’s appetite for her, until she decides she’s good and ready to give up the whole package. Ilsa acts the role of dom. to perfection – in certain scenes with her the player has no say in the action and must simply wait to see what acts she’ll perform. The other two characters are somewhat less fully- rendered, though harassing Fanny the maid is a lot of fun. Of the four, I find the queen to be the most difficult to enjoy (more on her later). The sex writing is another strength of the game. It is over-the-top cartoonish porn with just enough sensual detail to make it highly immersive and original. The arousal state system also makes it extremely varied. In alternate moments, one NPC can either be totally unaroused, making a rape scene possible or she can be somewhat aroused or fully aroused, thereby making for numerous extremely different and all very well implemented actions.

Technical:

Technically, Moist is very clean, though when I first played and noted that in the very opening scene, ‘picnic’ is spelled ‘picknick’, I felt like I was in for a rough time (‘picknick’ is apparently an acceptable alternate spelling according to dictionary.com). Otherwise, there are a few very minor bugs, and almost no grammar or spelling problems. I doubt that anyone but a very deliberate repeat player would uncover bugs in Moist. Plus, the author released the (heavily commented) source code, making it possible for a player to correct any bugs himself.

Puzzles/Game play:

The puzzles in Moist are extremely reasonable. As the aim of the game is to enjoy the sex, the puzzles are designed to add interest rather than frustration. In terms of their difficulty, I would rate them as moderately easy. They all make reasonably good sense, all generally relate well to the personality of the NPC they are associated with and, for the most part, enhance the game. And, to keep them from hindering a player too much, Scarlet Herring has implemented an elaborate context-sensitive hint system that keeps a player moving right along from one sex scene to the next.

There are a few criticisms that I have of Moist. First, some players may have difficulty suspending their disbelief over the concept. I sometimes wonder: what are those four women actually doing in that buried castle? What is the queen “queen” of? Why does she need a secretary if all she does is lie around half naked drinking goat’s milk? Why is the whole castle save a few rooms pitch black? Why does Fanny walk around in the dark? What else does Fanny do beside fetch milk for the queen? What does Ilsa do all day without prisoners to torture? These are questions that I heartily recommend that the author address – in a sequel. Second, considering the freedom you have to take almost any action you want with the NPC’s in the game, I wish it was possible to arrange them into a threesome. Again, this is a grievance I think the author should remedy – in a sequel. Third, I feel that the Queen is too difficult to please – it is currently only possible to make her orgasm through one combination of actions. This flattens her as a character and makes her more into a puzzle item that needs to be solved. I think the author should endeavor to give her more depth – in a sequel.

Final Thoughts:

If you are looking for classic AIF that has great characters, sex and is simply a ton of fun, look no further than Moist. The only thing you’ll be sorry about it is that there isn’t more.

Rating: A
 


Reviewed by Christopher Cole

Overall Thoughts:

"Moist" was the first non-Star Trek AIF game I ever played. I remember I was browsing through the IF Archive (not really even knowing the letters 'AIF' yet) downloading any game I thought might have sex in them along the lines of the Star Trek games I had played. The title "Moist" sounded promising. I played it, loved it, and have played it numerous times since then. It is easily my favourite AIF game so this review will be heavily on the positive side.

The story was far-fetched as in many AIF games. But it was so well written that I found myself accepting this fantasy realm of Queen Morghana, easily suspending my disbelief that a crack in the mountainside could open up to this magical place. Once inside her realm, the story was thin in that it was only about escaping through sexual escapades, but the world was so colourful, rich and sexually charged that I was completely satisfied.

The NPCs of the story (Morghana and her three servants, Fanny, Ilsa, and Kim) were well written with differing motives and personalities, and were all attractive in varying ways. It didn't just seem like I was moving from 'female NPC 1' to 'female NPC 2' as it does in many other games I've played. These were four very different, very intriguing NPCs for me to interact with in a very functional castle within the mountain.

The game is extremely fun, extremely sexy, and very re-playable.

Puzzles/Game play:

This is the only part of the review that will even remotely seem negative and that's more because I am a very inadequate player when it comes to solving puzzles than problems with the puzzles themselves.

There are numerous instances right off the bat where you may find yourself in a position that you cannot proceed any further. It actually took me many attempts just to find my way into Morghana's realm. This is a game where you want to pick up every item you come across because you may need it in the future. I'm not a heavy player of regular IF, but I think this is a traditional way of going about things in IF games. I usually try to limit how much my PCs can carry in my games, so you have to pick and choose which items you want to carry. However, I'll always allow you to go back and get an item you didn't carry with you if you find you need it later. In "Moist" if you leave an item thinking you can go back later to get it, you'll quickly find yourself at a dead end, needing to restart the game.

You also have items with limited uses, which, if you're a mediocre puzzle solver like myself, means you may find yourself quite literally in the dark, unable to proceed. When you get into the Queen's realm, you'll find yourself faced with many more puzzles leading to (and sometimes within) sex scenes.

I had to consult a walkthrough very early in this game and found myself going back to the walkthrough a few times throughout. Again, this says more about me as a player than anything negative against the puzzles in the game. If you are a good IF player (and/or are a fan or are familiar with traditional IF puzzles), you probably won't have too much difficulty with the puzzles in "Moist".

Sex:

As mentioned above, sex is the driving force behind "Moist". You need to satisfy the Queen in order to escape her strange realm (though I still wonder why you would want to escape exactly). Before you can satisfy the Queen, you must be recommended to her by her servants (ie: you must satisfy them first).

The sex in "Moist" is extremely well written, exciting and hot. It is highly interactive and varied. There are puzzles leading to the sex, and puzzles within the sex. There are sexual options that you can explore or skip at your leisure. Each NPC has different needs and wants. Some give freely, others you'll have to work at. Scarlet Herring has covered a high number of personalities, situations, and sexual options considering the game only has four NPCs.

Technical:

There are no major bugs or glitches in this game that I am aware of; certainly nothing earth-shattering. If I really wanted to get nitpicky, I did notice the odd spelling mistake here and there, but with the vast amount of text in the game, I certainly didn't mind. Even professional published novels have one or two spelling mistakes.

The source code for "Moist" is available. This is the only technical bit I thought needed mentioning. Scarlet Herring himself says that it's a bit of a jumble. When I first tried to learn TADS, I looked at the "Moist" code since it was my favorite game. I got dizzy trying to understand it. I'd just like to say that though the code is available, it should be used only as a way of looking at the game in full code as opposed to using it as a learning tool.

Intangibles:

"Moist" is, in my opinion, the greatest AIF game out there. It should satisfy those of us who like games that are pretty much just sexual romps, as well as those of us who enjoy a traditional IF puzzle game that just happens to have lots of well written sex in it.


Final Thoughts:

"Moist" is the game that inspired me to start writing my own. It was my first glimpse into the world of AIF, letting me know that there was more out there other than the two or three Star Trek games I had tried. Fun from an IF perspective, fun from an AIF perspective, it should satisfy all types of AIF players.

Rating: A+
 


Reviewed by A. Bomire

Overall thoughts:

This was second AIF game I ever played. (For those keeping track at home, NewKid's GNA was the first, because the IF Archive has the games alphabetically listed <g>). Moist still ranks in my mind as one of the best games ever written. Coming out of the early days of AIF when games were written as DOS games or using AGT, this game is a refreshing change, and ushered in what is considered to be the modern age of AIF. On top of that, it is extremely well-written, with interesting and variable characters. Though small, there is plenty to do with the queen's servants, and though I've played the game many times, I still find little tidbits here and there that I have missed (or forgotten).

Puzzles/Game play:

The puzzles in this game are not hard, and the game play is easy and fun. Among the many innovations of this game is the now-standard arousal system, where as you perform actions on a girl her arousal goes up until climax. The game even provides you with a copy of the Kama Sutra in which it notifies you of each girl's current arousal, and how many times you've satisfied her. There is even a built-in hint/tip system, although in bit of reverse logic you can't find it until you've played the game through and won. I guess it was meant as a reward for those who solved the game and wanted to go back and find the things they missed. And, as I mentioned above, there is a lot to find! I ranked this game as medium length because it can be completed in under 2 hours. However, you could very easily spend hours playing this game, looking in every nook and cranny and exploring every avenue open to you. Just reading the graffiti in the bathroom could eat up quite a bit of time! It is tidbits like this that make this game so enjoyable for first time players, and such a joy to come back to.

Sex:

The sex in this game is fantastic. Not just because it is so well-written, but because Scarlett Herring thought of just about everything. If you can think of it, he implemented it. Dildos, vibrators, bondage, whipping and spanking, even descriptions of the girls after you've covered their body with your fluid. (And you can even get them to "clean" themselves up!) For the most part, all of it is optional. Of course, you have to satisfy the girls to get to the queen, but the use of dildos, vibrators, etc is, with one exception, optional.

Bugs:

This game has been out a long while, and all of the bugs have long been corrected. There are a couple of misspellings, but not enough to detract from the over-all enjoyment of the game.

Final Thought:

This game is ranked as either at the top, or among an elite few at the top, by just about everyone associated with the AIF genre, and with good reason. It is fun, sexy and just a joy to play.

Rank: A+
 


Reviewed by BBBen

Overall thoughts:

I’ll be brief because other players who’ve played the game a lot more than me can wax lyrical on the game’s merits far more than me. Moist does not attempt to create a convincing plot. The premise is in fact introduced to the player through a plaque discovered soon after entering the cave, and there is an air of “who cares about plot, this game is about sex” about Moist, which is not necessarily an awful thing. This is not going to be an immersive experience, however. Frankly I found the plot, such as it was, a little annoying, but the game is very good for pure sex.

Puzzles/game play:

For a game that is basically a sex romp, there is a bit too much confusion and puzzle solving before anything approaching sex starts, at least for my tastes. Once it does get going, it is much more entertaining, but the early puzzle solving is a little frustrating to me. I had trouble getting through the puzzles without a walkthrough, but then when it comes to puzzles I am bad and impatient.

Sex:

Particularly for this game, this is by far the most important criteria. Sex is the object of the game, and it is certainly worth the trouble of playing. The sex writing is still among the best in AIF, though the “mindset” of the sex (or “ideology” of the sex; you know what I mean?) did not always particularly interest me.

Technical:

I found no bugs, the game was smooth and slick. I did however have some trouble with guess-the-verb problems.

Intangibles:

In the early stages of the game I felt somewhat tense, not entirely sure of what should happen. It did not give me the comfortable feeling that I find important in T&AIF.

Final thoughts:

This game is a much loved classic for many veterans of the community, but being more of a young blood (only involved since ’99, and then not very actively) I only actually first played the game recently. It may be the game was a seminal work of AIF, and it is certainly a well produced game, but it is not one of my favourites. That said, it is well worth playing for any fan of AIF. It was a game I played while still rather impatient toward AIF and perhaps that biased me somewhat, but the game, while good, didn’t quite click with me in the way it did with most other people.

Rating: B+
 


Reviewed By SWelland

Overall Thoughts:

Moist was an immensely enjoyable game from start to finish. Having only discovered AIF within the last year, I was pleased to have discovered Moist after having played a few “cheesy” creations that left the imagination and the intellect wanting more. Sex scenes in this game are rewards to having solved the various puzzles as opposed to a all-out “slamfest”.

The restocking of pertinent items on the way out of the castle was the ultimate in bringing you back to explore and play again. Mega kudos!

Puzzles/Game play:

With only one or two exceptions, the puzzles in Moist can be solved by paying attention and using a little intuition. This game was long IF you spent the time actually looking at all that is available to read and examine. It could well be completed in less than 2 hours if your only intention was to reach the goal, Queen Morghana. I found a couple of puzzles, like unlocking the wine cellar, a little off-center, but was able to complete them without resorting to a walkthrough.

The Blackjack game had both a negative and a positive side for me. I found it to be a stroke of genius on one hand, but soon thought, “I can only stomach so much genius” as I reached the final hand to seduce the lovely Kim.

The Kama Sutra was another ingenious addition, allowing you to monitor your success and to make you take the time to build each willing participant up to a frenzy before being allowed to indulge yourself completely.

Sex:

I found the sex scenes to be well written, but more importantly, not limited to a narrow line of thought. A true pet peeve is to be told I really don’t want to try something that I intentionally tried. Moist, for the most part, covered the bases with true erotica.

Technical:

I found only a few minor glitches, such as examining the cupboard and having it reply “the chest is open”. I was afraid when I first started the game near the “picnick” area that this would be another misspelled adventure. Though not a true “bug”, I did find waiting 15-16 times before seducing the Amazon of a woman in the dungeon a bit much. (On the other hand, I did find on subsequent play that as opposed to waiting, other options are available.)

Final thoughts:

Moist ranks in the Top 5 for me, as it covered all that AIF stands for, stimulating thought in both the intellectual sense and in a pure sexual sense. Without a doubt, a job well done and a pleasure to play again and again.
 


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