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Serving Your Country Reviews

Author: Fletcher Smyth
Date: 2003
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 A. Bomire

Basic Plot
You are a member of the Druin Intelligence, which appears to be a secret organization at work in the cold war between your homeland (Druin?) and Thrandia. You are recruited to work undercover to discover information about a treaty between Thrandia and another country called Romana. Your cover? You are a slave, sent to work for a person called an Owner, someone who keeps slaves for sexual purposes. You are to find anything you can about this treaty, and get out.

Overall Thoughts
This game was written for the IF Comp in 2003. As such, it is very short. The emphasis of the game is on the story and puzzles, and less on the sex. In fact, for most of the game engaging in sex is a sure-fire way of cutting the game short, which is definitely a twist on usual AIF plot lines. It has an interesting, if dark, story to go with it. Bondage and spanking aren't really my thing, but I still found the game interesting.

Puzzles/Game play
The game is timed, with specific actions taking place at specific times. As a slave, you are expected to do things when told, so anything else you want to do has to be done in the few moments of free time that you have available to you. This gives the game an anxious feel, as you need to work out what needs to be done, and how long you have to do it. As a slave, you are expected to be in certain areas and do certain things when your Owner demands it. As such, you very rarely are left wandering around, wondering just what it is you are supposed to do.

In fact, the game is designed such that you cannot "fail". Even if you cannot figure out the puzzles, or work out the sequence of actions you need to do to win the game, you will not be stuck. The game will simply continue on, with you either falling for your Owner, or being punished by the Owner or one of the other slaves. This is fairly nice, as you cannot get stuck, but also frustrating because the game is timed - you don't have all the time in the world to try various solutions. Undo and Save/Restore are definitely your friends when playing this game.

Sex
As an entry in the mainstream IF Comp, I was surprised to see that this game had sex in it at all. The sex isn't terribly explicit, but it is there. The various body parts of the characters are examinable, but not necessarily interactively available. What is oddest about this game, and which some players will not like, is that following your natural AIF instincts will cause you to lose the game. Slaves are expected to be disciplined - nobody has sex without the Owner's permission. And this rule is enforced in a very strict manner. While you can disobey your Owner and have sex with some of the slaves, expect to have dire consequences.

To win the game, you have to participate in a little bondage, but you don't have to go all the way with it unless you absolutely want to. If this is something you wish to pursue, you can spank and whip to your heart's content. This isn't really my thing, so I was glad to see that you can proceed without it if you wish.

Technical
There weren't a lot of bugs that I could find in this game. At one point, I accidentally repeated a command, and found myself stuck and unable to proceed. This happened in the Owner's private quarters. Other than that, the game was pretty bug free.

Intangibles
This game was interesting in that it is one of the few AIF games in which the object isn't to have sex with everything that moves. In fact, as I mentioned, following your natural AIF instincts to screw everything in sight will have bad consequences. Also, you can play the game as either a male or female character. I played as a male, and the Owner and all other characters were female. Then, I played as a female and all of the other characters changed gender as well. This dual-gender aspect could be why the sex scenes are so non-explicit they work for either male or female player characters.

Final Thoughts
This game didn't really do very well in the IF Comp in which it was entered, but that is understandable. The mainstream IF world doesn't particularly care for AIF in general. However, if I were to judge this game based upon our own AIF standards, I would still not rate it very high. Part of this has to do with my own feelings towards BDSM, and individual players may feel differently about the game.

Rating: C-


 


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