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The Magic Portal Reviews 

Author: Morbo
Date: 2008
RAGS


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

Your best friend Amy hasn't been seen by anyone in a couple of days, so you stop by her apartment to see if there is anything wrong. Inside you find a ring of stones which sucks you into another world - a world dominated by a mind- controlling sorceress, Zione, who has Amy enthralled in her dark, forbidding tower. Your job is to fight your way through the seeming endless supply of slaves populating the forest surrounding the tower, and then find and free your friend before you succumb to the Zione's powers yourself.

Overall Thoughts

This game is yet another release from the folks over at Hypnopics Collective, (http://www.hypnopics-collective.net), a mind-control fetish website. As such, this game focuses upon mind control. Certain aspects of mind control are definitely outside of my interest area, which does not include the really heavy dominance-submission type of control. However, I find that games such as this and the previous games released by the same author (Little Slave Lost - Chapter Zero and Little Slave Lost) are just fine. If you find mind control and mild dominance-submission distasteful, then perhaps this game isn't for you. This review is based upon version 1.2.0 of the game, which is two releases after the first, fairly buggy, release.

Puzzles/Game Play

This game combines the type of mental control found in the author's previous two games with combat and role-playing. You, the player, start out with certain stats which are cleverly derived by answering a couple of questions put to you by the player's guide and mentor, the wizard Raknos. Raknos also provides you with the weapons you will need, which instead of swords and daggers are pendants and tomes of hypnosis that you use to mentally war with your opponents. As the game progresses, you are given the opportunity to improve your stats and your weapons, and you will need to do so as the slaves that the sorceress Zione throws against you grow increasingly more powerful as the game moves on. Raknos also provides some other useful items, some of which you must quest for, and others you can purchase outright with the gold you gain from battling opponents.

In this later release, the author has attempted to correct a problem from the first release - namely that you need to battle a LOT of enemies to amass the huge amount of gold required to maximize your stats and weapons. And you will need every advantage you can get, as even after making the rest of the game a little easier, the final battle is still pretty hard. The author has also allowed the player to select his/her difficulty level: Normal, Difficult, and Impossible. I played through on Normal mode, and still found the final battle pretty hard. I'd hate to see what it is like on "Impossible"!

The puzzles in the game seem to consist of finding your way through what appears to be a forest maze, fighting against Zione's minions and finding the tools and resources you need to increase your fighting power. Also, you need to determine which of your "weapons" work best against your opponents, as different opponents have different strengths and weaknesses. Once you get the forest mapped out, and figure out which weapons work on each opponent, the game settles down into a series of battles, over the same opponents. This can get tedious, but Morbo has listened to the advice from players and offered a helpful stag who shows up now and again to give the player some gold - thus negating the need to fight as many opponents. And, you can also buy some items from Raknos to completely avoid fighting if you wish.

Sex

There isn't so much sex in this game (although there are a few lesbian encounters) as there are pictures of naked women. These women use their mental abilities and physical charms to lower your resistance. As you begin to lose, you get more and more naked, and the pictures of the women become more provocative when you either defeat them or lose to them. The author has added some more descriptive scenes of girl-on-girl sex, but none of them are the hot, racy, XXX scenes that you may find in your average AIF game. The focus of this game is on the game play, not the sex. Players who are used to the explicitness of the usual AIF game will be disappointed.

Technical

The original game release had some flaws in it that the author corrected in this release. However, I was still able to find a couple of areas where enemies spawned in rooms that the player wasn't in, leading to a phantom enemy chasing you around the forest. Eventually, you meet up with your foe if you wander enough, or you meet up with another enemy who will over-ride the phantom one. It isn't a game ending experience, just annoying.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed the first two games by this author (well, one of them was actually an introduction to the RAGS system), and was looking forward to playing this game. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this game as much. Combat games are fairly hard to do, as it always seems to boil down to repetitions of "You attack and she resists. Then she attacks and you are hit." Relatively short descriptions too often become too repetitious, and long descriptions become too tedious to read over and over. A good middle ground is difficult to find. I found Morbo's attempt to be about average, which is reflected in the rating that I gave this game.

Rating: B-


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