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Rachel's Bad Day Reviews
Author: Sly Old Dog (original), Roger Pepitone (port)
Date: 2005
Inform


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 Grimm Sharlak (Review of Inform port)

Basic Plot:

Rachel goes to work one day and decides to commit a little industrial espionage for her scumbag boyfriend. This in turn leads her to meeting (and having to deal with) some very
shady characters. All in all, she has a very bad day indeed.

Overall Thoughts:

Are you a persistent gamer? Thatís the main question you need to ask before tackling RBD. While there are fewer bugs in the Inform version than in the original, the game can still be quite frustrating and vague at points, especially at first. Simply due to poor programming, many players can get stuck in the very first room. You canít leave without wearing clean clothes, but the wardrobe is empty, and despite the fact that you need your mobile phone to play the game properly, itís inside an invisible cabinet. And donít even get me started on the ďchangeĒcommand.But hey, Iím a reviewer Ė I plugged away and finally managed to get out onto the street. From here the game improved substantially, as while some things were still frustrating, I found no more invisible objects, and made substantial progress quickly. Unfortunately, I found the gameís theme personally unpleasant. Whether itís your cup of tea or not, I found the fact that 95% of the sex in the game is forced on Rachel rather than consensual (and the one time it is consensual is when sheís getting paid for it) and is quite a turn off.
Itís important for your enjoyment of the game that you know about this facet of the story.

Puzzles/Gameplay:

Hey, this is an AIF game, and as such nine times out of ten sex is the solution. While some of the puzzles are poorly implemented (for example, to sneak an object out of an area, you have to stick it somewhere uncomfortable, but the command to do so only becomes available after youíve been caught and degraded a first time, so even if you know what to do to avoid this, you still have to go through it each time), and thereís a lot of trial and error involved, especially in the last section of the game. This last section is the gameís largest puzzle, and takes place in an interview-type situation. Itís certainly unique, and if youíve paid attention to the story you should manage to get through it okay, but in some cases youíre being asked about innocuous
characters who came along, abused Rachel, and left. Since thatís all you learn about these characters, the interview scene becomes a load/save extravaganza, especially when I
finally reached the end and realized I had missed one simple step and had to reload to a spot quite a while back.

Sex:

The sex, for the most part, is written well. Sex scenes arenít exactly lengthy, but whatís there is decently written. The problem for me was a lack of interactivity and the aforementioned subject matter. Controlling Rachel in these scenes can be quite frustrating, especially when the only way to progress is to either do as youíre told or suffer in silence. Not to mention the redundant ďgirl has sex forced on her, but still somehow starts to enjoy itĒ clichť prevalent in this game. But as stated earlier, if thatís your thing, this game is for you Ė if you find it deplorable, steer clear.

Technical:

Roger Pepitone has done a decent job of porting the game over from ADRIFT, and getting rid of quite a few game-killing bugs. For example, I could play the game from beginning to end, saving whenever I liked, without anything crashing or errors appearing. There are still some spelling errors and awkward phrasing, but itís a lot better than the original. However, there are still technical problems, such as the invisible objects in the first room, the change command (rather than the more common ďstripĒ or removing single items of clothing) and some guess-the-verb problems at parts. The game can be quite frustrating, but not to the point of giving up. A bit of patience and persistence will see you through.

Intangibles:

Everybodyís an arsehole. That seems to be the message of RBD. Everyoneís a sexual deviant, including the main character. Rachel is groped, raped and spat on throughout this game, sometimes going along willingly but most times not, and all for this mission sheís on for her boyfriend, who we never meet, hence making her dedication hard to follow. Not to mention the inconsistency of character prevalent in the game Ė despite being filmed for a porno earlier in the game and then partaking in public sex, a character later threatens to blackmail Rachel with film of her activities. Yeah. And while I donít want to spoil the game, I found the ending terrible. It left me feeling, well, dirty, for taking part in these charactersí world, and controlling Rachel, who turns out to be quite the bitch herself.

Final Thoughts:

While the port to Inform has resolved some of the bugs from Rachelís Bad Day, its poor writing and distasteful subject matter remain. Say what you will about games being released without proper testing and bug fixes, but even if this game ran perfectly I still couldnít recommend it. Iím not saying that AIF canít deal with the darker side of sex, but playing a game where you walk a character from one forced sexual encounter to the next where none of the characters have any saving morals or any real explanation for their motivations, itís just exploitative and distasteful. Hardly what Iíd call a good time.

Rating: D
 


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