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The Home of Otter Interactive Fiction


Behavioral Psychology Reviews 

Author: Rip_CPU
Date: 2012
Twine


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 Deus ExLibris

I've noticed that Behavioural Psychology hasn't received much attention so far, so I'm going to take a stab at rectifying that.

BP (as I'm going to abbreviate it from now on) was the first game I played this year, largely because I have fond memories of Rip_CPU's previous minicomp entries (especially last year's Ashley's Story). BP is a mind control game, which I don't mind per se, although a lot of the MC games I've played in the past have been rather formulaic. In this case you're playing a female PC, which usually means that you're going to be the victim rather than the victor, and BP is no exception.

On the plus side, the writing is good, although it's not as entertaining as Ashley's Story. That probably comes down to the PC herself not being as entertaining. She's largely a blank slate that the player defines via their choices. However, those choices are ultimately meaningless since the PC cannot escape the fate the author has consigned her to and she eventually starts agreeing with whatever her 'Master' says rather than what the player chooses. Consequently I never felt very involved in the game, something that only got worse once I'd satisfied myself that there was no escape and the only reward for replaying was a slightly different ending.

Overall BP isn't a game that I feel strongly about either way. The fact that the player is railroaded through the plot didn't annoy me as much as it did with Final Sacrifice(probably because of the different formats) but it did limit my enjoyment of the game (although it was still one of the two games I enjoyed enough to play through, complete and then replay on my first attempt).

I suspect the problem is partly that BP was written very quickly and at the last moment. While it doesn't feel rushed, it does feel short. More development time could have resulted in the player having more options and content to enjoy, as well as a greater illusion of agency. However, BP does make me hope that this isn't the last AIF game that uses Twine. CYOA typically allows the player to have a much greater impact on the plot (via branching) than vanilla IF (although not in this particular case), which is something I like. It also presents a much lower entry bar for new authors in terms of learning an authoring system.


Reviewed by The Blue Satyr

Overview:
You are a young woman, a freshman in college who comes upon a flyer advertising for a psychology experiment on campus. Curious you take part but soon find yourself answering some very odd questions that lead to a most unexpected conclusion.

Author:
Rip_CPU is the author of BP and he is the author of last year's 4th place 2011 mini-comp entry Ashley's Story.

Protagonist:
The protagonist is a real unknown except that she is over 18 and a freshman in college. She really is an open slate for the player to decide on how she looks and thinks. During the experiment the player is given the choice to create the protagonist's personality from a list of choices. For instance when asked what you are wearing you can choose from a list of reply's that range from slutty to conservative. These answers will ultimately decide on which ending you will get.

Characters:
The only other character besides the protagonist is the nameless experimenter. As the test progresses his attempts to psychoanalyze become at first odd then down right creepy. This character is completely cardboard with no real personality or motivations other than to turn unexpected young women into brainwashed sex slaves.

Sex:
The sex in BP is almost non-existent. The readme file states that the game has a dozen different endings depending on how you answered the questions. While some endings I find hotter than others the bottom line is that in an AIF competition you need to have some interactive sex. Even a choose your own adventure game has the ability to give the player some basic choices of interactions during sex.

Overall the endings I saw were well written and paint a picture of just how the protagonist lives out her brainwashed servitude to her new master. Given enough play throughs I'm sure every player will find some endings that gratify their particular tastes. I give kudos to the author for giving us a variety of endings.

Writing:
The game has good writing and as with most choose your own adventure games the writing is focused on guiding the player through a story. I give the author much merit for writing a good story. I found it to be well constructed .... until it took a leap of the unbelievable. I can in no way believe that the protagonist could be so completely brainwashed in such a short analyzing session. The resulting game play detached me from the rest of the game because I was no longer able to suspend my disbelief. I no longer felt like I was playing the game but it was playing me. Granted, I'm sure there are players out there that like the mind control element and I am sure they will enjoy this game.

Technical:
I'm quite impressed with Twine, it looks great and it allows authors with little coding skill an outlet to create. The author mentioned the game only took him a weekend to create which is a testament to how easy Twine makes the creative process. Better yet, Twine allows you to play on a web browser meaning no game runner is required. Kudos for simplicity!

I found only a few typos, I mostly remember them being near the beginning of the game. Otherwise the game looks polished.

I'd like to say more about the technical nature BP but there just isn't any. The game play for the choose your own adventure format comes down to just two things: reading the story and making a choice from a list of presented actions.

Bottom Line:
The story started out really well and I wanted to like the game. Indeed I did enjoy it right up until the middle of the experiment when the game started to force me into unwanted behavioral changes.

BP impressed me with its look and ease of game play. I hope to see many more of these types of choose your own adventures from Rip_CPU.


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