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South Beach Rum Runner Reviews
Author: The Risque' Floridian
Date: 1993

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 Kastier

Plot synopsis:
You're a Floridian (a resident of Florida) out at a café drinking Rum Runners. Rum Runners as most Floridians know, have an unusual effect on the libido. But it's time to take a walk on the beach and try to find someone to spend some time with.

Writing + Plot:
After my last couple reviews (Wuz, Passion Pit, Cruisin), and knowing the track record of early AIF games up to this point, I was expecting a turkey when I went to run this game. What I got instead was a game that surprised me for its quality. Short of Voyeur, this game gets the prize for being the best written of the short list of pre-1995 AIF games.

Rum-Runner does have some occasional spelling and grammatical errors. They're scattered throughout the game, but The Risque Floridian (hereafter TRF) makes up for them with a fairly hot sex scene that's well written, if, at the same time, very linear.

There was clearly a lot of time and effort put into the writing because it flows together so well, making the unlike many games where the sex scenes are choppy little sequences that don't fit together well. Rum-Runner's feels more like an actual encounter than most AIF games. It's written well enough that at the end you wish there were more.

Be warned though, the sexual encounter does not contain the normal sexual intercourse of most games, focusing, rather, on kissing and touching by the PC with hints of Dominance. It must have been the author's kink. For the most part though, it's not that overplayed, so doesn't feel oppressive.

On to the plot. While the goal of the game was to get lucky, there were some hints of something strange goings on, that when you're finished, you almost wish could be followed up on. The sad part is that Rum-Runner was clearly intended to be a longer game. The author says as much when you finish it. It was released as a demo of sorts, and then never followed up on. Honestly, considering AIF's earlier track record, this isn't as surprise, though it is a slight disappointment.

My only complaint is that like many early AIF games, descriptions of rooms, objects and items (including NPCs) in this game are sorely lacking. They tend to be sparse and unimaginative. The sex scene is great, but when I look at the NCP I'm having fun with, I want more than,

"She has short blonde hair, nice shapely legs, ample, firm breasts, that appear to be real, and a derriere most women would die for!"
Score: 7

Technical (design + programming):
As an early AIF game written in TADS, Rum Runner is surprisingly sound aside from a few minor issues. I didn't encounter any bugs, and the sexual encounter was surprisingly well constructed for such an old game.

I suspect it works because unlike newer games in which a player has a lot of control over what sex act they can perform with an NPC, the sexual encounter is very scripted. You're more or less led by the hand and told what to do next. Surprisingly, this method isn't as restrictive as it sounds because the scenes are written well enough that they push you into the next action. And there are a lot of actions to do as well. The only problem with this method is that if the player does with to try something else, you get told you're moving too fast, or get a stock reply for that action.

On the downside, there are a few minor game construction issues here. TRF chose to skimp on making objects for things he describes in his room descriptions. I can't stand that. If you say there's a café table or a towel in the room, I want to be able to look at it. It really isn't THAT hard to make objects in TADS. I know, I've done it.

There also are some issues with synonyms. I got a little annoyed when typing "touch" or "feel" got me error messages, but "rub" worked fine. Another issue is that you can break the game with one of your actions right at the beginning of the game. The only way to end the game after that is to kill yourself. Not very exciting way to end the game at all.

None of these are huge issues, though their existence does distract from the game experience a little.
Score: 6

Entertainment Factor:
For a game written in 1993, Rum-Runner is quite entertaining. The sex scenes are well written, the programming is more or less technically sound, and the game progression was extremely well executed. As mentioned earlier, the fluidity of the sex scene makes for a stronger sequence than most AIF games provide.

I just wish it hadn't been so short.
Score: 7

The Last Word:
Rum Runner is pretty good, far better than any of the games of its era, except for Voyeur, with really is a very different type of game.

Kastier's ranking: 6.6 out of 10

Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.


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