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The Gambling Shop Reviews
Author: Jules Constene
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 (Inside
Erin: Volume 6 Number 4 - April 2010)
You have entered a gambling shop/brothel. You gamble with the owner, Vido, for sexual favours with the various girls in the shop. If you win enough credits, you can buy their favours. If you lose, then Vido gets to have his way with you (he's gay). You gamble by playing various games of chance: Blackjack, Poker and Aces High.
This game was just recently brought to my attention, although it has been out for almost 20 years (at the time of this writing). Although the game was written long before Windows, in the days of DOS, it ran fine on my Windows XP system. I ran into a couple of technical issues which I'll review later under the Technical section. The game isn't very interactive - you simply choose your actions from a menu. Overall, it is interesting
only because I hadn't heard of it before.
There is only one puzzle in this game - playing the various card games. And as you'll soon discover if you play The Gambling Shop, even that is simplified. The player is presented with a menu of 5 choices: Use your credits to buy sexual favors, play Blackjack, play Poker, play Aces High or quit. When you select one of the gambling games, you aren't presented with additional menus indicating how you want to bet or play. You are simply presented with the results (Win/Lose). When you select the option to use your built-up credits, you are presented with a menu of options there. When you select one (BLOWJOB, for example) you are given a brief (1-2 paragraph) description of the sexual act and then the game goes back to the original menu.
Since you don't really play the games, the only puzzle is figuring out how to beat Vido, who cheats. Once you find that solution, you can win every time and the game is pretty much over except for viewing the individual sexual scenes. Speaking of which, let's talk about the...
The sexual scenes in this game aren't bad, they just aren't very good. There are six different scenes, and each scene takes different amounts of credits. However, the scenes never vary, so once you've seen the BLOWJOB scene once, it will be the same every time you select that scene. And, one of the scenes is a combination of oral and intercourse which includes scenes from other choices. So it won't take very long at all to see everything that this game has to offer.
There weren't any technical glitches in this game, or even any typos, misspellings, grammar errors, or anything like that. That's good. What is bad is that the game is written for DOS, which some players may have trouble playing. As I said, I had no trouble running the game on my Windows XP system, with one slight problem. If you "double-click" on the game to run it, when it ends it closes the window which doesn't allow you to see the final description of you losing the game. So, it appears as if the game simply crashes or closes. If you open a DOS prompt and run it that way, then it runs just fine.
People who use other than Microsoft for their OS may want to look at something like DOSBox to emulate a DOS window for the game. I used DOSBox Portable (from PortableApps.com), and the game executed flawlessly. DOSBox Portable allows you to run DOSBox without installing it onto your computer, but I believe it is designed to run under Windows. For other operating systems, you may need the DOSBox installation which can be downloaded from www.dosbox.com.
I played this game mainly because you rarely hear of a "new" game that was written almost 20 years ago. I thought I knew of all of the old games already. When this game was brought to my attention at the Yahoo! AIF Archive discussion group, I immediately wanted to try it out. Some of the old games are actually pretty good. This one was not. The puzzle, if you want to call it that, is either extremely frustrating or (once you figure it out) extremely simple. The sex scenes are pretty basic, and pretty limited. When compared against other games which were released at or around the same time, which include games such as Badman's "X-Trek" (1991) and "A Night With Troi" (1991), it is just not in the same league. I would recommend playing this game only if you are an enthusiast.
Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.
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