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The Sex Artist Reviews
Author: A. Ninny
Date: 2005

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

Basic Plot:

You play the part of Buzz, a painter who focuses on the more risqué side of human interaction. Tired of both painting porn actresses and the money-grubbing cock-tease that is your girlfriend Claire, you set out to get some better models while making money to get a little further with Claire…

Overall Thoughts:

Sex Artist took out the first prize in the recent CCAB comp, and A. Ninny’s previous comp game, Parlour was also highly regarded. So I was expecting big things from this title and for the most part it delivered.


While the puzzles in Artist can be taxing, the flow of the game itself is rather straightforward – you start the game, you check your messages, you get invited to the opera… And so on. The only real struggles I had were with some of the smaller, but still necessary actions; getting a certain character in the right mood, etc. While it never came down to “guess the verb” some of these situations did have many players scratching their head. So while the puzzles could be tough, they were never illogical.

What hurt the game’s enjoyment, initially, were all the error reports Ninny himself was making! However, as long as you have the latest version (v1.1), these bugs are now gone.


While the sex scenes in Artist won’t match up to the technical achievement that was Parlour (partly due to time considerations, and partly due their being way more sex in this game) the sex is still considerably good and the women are desirable. Watching Liz in the park, Toni posing, or Claire teasing really makes the player desire the woman in question, making the eventual conquest even more enjoyable.

Not that the sex scenes needed the help. The player, being an artist, will be a voyeur at times, but this usually leads to the player taking part in the action. This action is well written, and has different descriptions depending on the location the sex is taking place in. Overall the sex is a great effort and very well done by Ninny.


While the competition edition of Artist had some technical issues, the version now out is technically sound. After a few weeks in the community, no one has reported any issues with the game and this reviewer hasn’t noticed any problems either.

As for the technical complexity of the game, the drawing sections are quite well, as the simple “draw” command’s outcome changes on previous tasks completed. As stated, the puzzles are logical as well, showing Ninny has a good technical grasp of TADS. Well done all around.


The almost game-long tease performed by Claire makes the final sex scene one of the most satisfying of recent memory. While the game isn’t all about getting with Claire, it’s one hell of a reward for completion of the game.

Final Thoughts:

A. Ninny’s latest effort well deserved to win the CCAB Comp, with hot sex, hot women and a great original premise. Needless to say, between Sex Artist and Parlour, A. Ninny is building a great reputation as an author.

Rating: A -

Reviewed by David Whyld (ifreviews.org)

Another entry in the recent adult comp by Chris Cole and A. Bomire and, thankfully, quite a bit better than the previous game I had tried (Lauren’s Awakening). Sex Artist has a bit of a storyline – a rarity in itself as far as AIF games are concerned – and a style of writing that’s a big improvement on the norm. What, an AIF game written by someone who knows how to write? Ye gods…

You play the part of Buzz (no relation to the Toy Story character I'm sure) who makes his living as the ‘sex artist’ of the game’s title. This basically means you go around painting people having sex. Nice work if you can get it. Strangely enough, the intro to the game says that you're fed up of working with porn actors. Interesting admission from the main character in what is essentially a porn game.

Where Sex Artist scores is mainly in the writing. Better than usual for an AIF game. Room descriptions are nice as well and it made a refreshing change being able to examine most of what I could see. Where it loses out is in the main problems that seem to befall 99% of the AIF games I've played. I ran into quite a few problems early on in this game as I assumed, it being an adult game and attention to deal not being high on the writer’s list of things to include, that there wouldn’t be any items just lying around for me to find. Big mistake. There were quite a few. The environment isn’t as well detailed as it might be in a non-AIF game, but it was certainly more than adequate for what was required here.

Characterisation was poor. Believable NPCs in an AIF game might not be a necessity when the only interaction you're likely to engage in with them is removing their clothing, but they sure add to the depth of the game. The ones here could have given cardboard cut-outs a run for their money. I met a couple in the park who were having sex and, being the perv that I am, I decided to sketch them. They noticed me at one point but, rather than the guy lunge at me and try to beat the living daylights out of me for gawping at him and his girlfriend in an intimate moment, he instead invited me back to their apartment so I could sketch them having sex. And they'd pay me for it! If only real life was like this.

For once I’d have liked to see an adult game with believable NPCs but it seems I was to be disappointed. Oh well…

The first few puzzles the game threw at me – finding someone to sketch while having sex was one of them – I managed fine. Either I'm getting better at AIF games or the puzzles in this one were easier than the norm. But as soon as the first obligatory sex scene commenced (I was a voyeur and not a participant, alas), I quickly ran into problems. The first was that the commands required to get the characters to actually do anything aren’t specified and it was only after some trial and error that I hit upon the correct phrasing. There's no help or hints command in the game and the ABOUT command helpfully misses out the relevant information. Nice one.

But I persevered and the two had sex. Repeatedly. In a dozen and one positions. And two separate rooms. Was it a turn on? Well… not really. It was more hardcore than erotica. Reasonably well written hardcore as far as hardcore goes, but still not especially arousing. And after I’d seen the fifth screen of text flash past my eyes describing Jim and Liz’s sexual exploits, my eyes started to glaze over and I skimmed through the rest of it. Unfortunately, the game seems determined not to let you skim through things as it blocks the exit and won’t let you leave until you’ve commanded Jim and Liz to engage in all manner of sexual activity. Commanded? Yep, apparently neither of them knows how to have sex without someone standing to one side and telling them exactly to do so first you’ve got to get them to take their clothes off (they don’t seem to realise it’s better that way) and then tell them, word for word, what needs doing. Are they a bit, um, backwards in the old grey matter department?

By the time I’d convinced Liz to strip off (one tedious item at a time) and she was actually ‘doing it’ with Jim, any kind of eroticism the scene might otherwise have held for me had been drowned amidst a deluge of guess the verb problems and the game’s general unwillingness to let the pair just **** and be done with it. Funnily enough, when I tried to sketch the pair of them going at it like a pair of rabid beavers, the game told me that I was a bit too nervous to do that, despite the fact that I’d spent the last half hour telling them to have sex and describing exactly what I wanted them to do. Another time I attempted to sketch them and the game told me they weren’t doing anything very special. Hmmm…

How did the sex scene end? Beats me. Jim and Liz went at it for a while, I told them what to do, sketched them… but the damn game just wouldn’t let me go. I was able to endlessly repeat the commands telling them what to do, so that by the time I finally succumbed to the guess the verb plague that was beginning to take hold of me, the two of them had managed to fill up around 45 screens with their sexual exploits. Talk about stamina!

That was as far as I got with the game. From what I could tell, the main puzzles seem to be related to this long drawn out and tiresome sex scene, and as I was unable to reach a conclusion I was unable to get any further with the game. Pity. This had actually looked for a while like it might have been one of those rare AIF games: a good one.

5 out of 10

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