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Old 08-04-2005, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default Review: Tender Loving Care

When is a game not really a game? When itís Tender Loving Care.

This ďinteractive movie,Ē which was released by Digital Leisure Inc. and developed by Aftermath Media LLC in 1999, tells the story of Michael Overton and his struggle with his psychologically disturbed wife Alison who just hasnít been the same since a tragic accident that struck the family a while back.
To cure his wife of her withdrawn state, Michael, on the advice of psychiatrist Doctor Turner (played by the famous John Hurt), hires a sexy psychotherapist famous for her abilities in curing the mentally unstableÖand taking off her top, or so it seems.

For the sake of this review, letís assume that this interactive movie is a game, which I believed it to be when I bought it. That way I donít have to keep typing out ďinteractive movieĒ and perhaps it will better explain my feelings towards this ďgame.Ē

Throughout Tender Loving Care, you, as ďthe viewer,Ē spend most of your time clicking from one lifeless room to another, reading journal entries and patient files, clicking TVís that play strange video clips from the forties and fifties that deal with psychology then morph into what was probably considered pornography during those time periods.

Once the game decides youíve had enough of that, youíre able to take a psychological test on what youíve seen in the videos, read in the diaries and questions that pertain to your own psyche. The choices you make determine the outcome of the story and the ending youíll getÖI think. These are then followed by video sequences which tell the story. The story itself isnít half bad on a B-movie level, though itís pretty predictable. The video itself is grainy and cheap looking (there is a DVD version that has better video available, which you can still order through their website), but it gets the job done.

One of my biggest complaints about Tender Loving Care is the game play, or lack thereof. Thereís no inventory, no puzzles and very few locations. For most of the game, youíre confined to the inside of a house which very well may contain a total of 15 things to interact with, and by interact, I mean read. The backgrounds are completely static and would be considered boring by anyone who isnít a fan of slideshows featuring somebody elseís house. There are no gears to turn here, no switches to flip, no changing scenery - nothing.

But thatís not to say I didnít have fun here. The tests that you have to take ask you some really ridiculous, laugh out loud things like ďHave you ever thought of having sex with your mother?Ē and true-false questions like ďI enjoy watching animals suffer.Ē Through the course of the game, you can look at your own file that diagnosis you with a psychological condition, which is determined by the answers you choose. The house also features many famous works of art for your viewing pleasure.

As far as a movie goes, itís really not that bad. Itís on par with a really good student film and is about what youíd expect from a feature that only has one identifiable actor. I will say this though; the woman who plays Alison should rethink her career, or at least stop playing crazy people. I lost count of how many times I cringed during her nudeless and emotionless sex scene with Michael. The rest of the major characters do a decent job of acting out their roles.

Now, I know a lot of people, especially guys under the age of 15 will buy this solely for its porn factor. Well, I hate to be the barer of bad news, but even the nudity and sex in the game isnít that thrilling. Iíd be lying if I said I didnít enjoy it at least a little, but donít expect Hustler here; Itís soft core at best. You do get to see a lot of boobies, but itís all from the same woman (unless you count the aforementioned dirty clips older than your parents), and for every boob shot you get, you get a shot of Michael's man-body, and to me they cancel each other out. Plus, why buy the game just for that, when you could subscribe to Cinemax or HBO or use that miraculous tool of the porn industry called the internet.

Tender Loving Care also has multiple endings, which, for the ambitious gamer, will keep it from being dust bait just a tad bit longer. Problem is, getting up the will to play through it multiple times will prove to be a challenge, even to the most jaded gamer, which I have yet been able to do.

To be fair, Tender Loving Care was never marketed as a game, but as the aforementioned interactive movie, but I remember when it was released, it was sold in game stores in the PC gaming section, which in my humble opinion is somewhat deceitful.

As a movie, Tender Loving Care is worth watching. As a game, itís hardly worth playing. Combining the two makes for a mediocre experience in which watching, reading, testing and repeating over and over again rules supreme. If youíve played every other game out there, and have nothing left, give it a try. Itís not a totally awful experience; just donít except to be confused as to why interactive movies never took off after Tender Loving Care was released.

I rate Tender Loving Care 5 Ĺ boobs out of 10.

Last edited by SakSquash; 08-04-2005 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:27 PM   #2
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Titstastic! I've only played the demo disc, though. Strange concept. Bring John Hurt back to where he belongs!


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Old 08-04-2005, 11:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by samIamsad
Titstastic! I've only played the demo disc, though. Strange concept. Bring John Hurt back to where he belongs!


Wow, didn't realize there was a demo. How much does it let you play? Lemme know when it's your birthday, i'll send you mine. What what?
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:41 PM   #4
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The disc came with a German games magazine back in, um, 1997/98!? Anyho, during that time when I was still nerdy enough to care about nerdy things like nerdy German games magazines. It was a full CD. Hm, actually, wait a minute...

Can't find it ATM, but I'm sure it's around here somewhere. I'm at home (parents' house). As far as I can remember, the demo lasted quite long. Lots of long FMV sequences, some "gameplay" bits. My b-day? Check my profile!
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by samIamsad
The disc came with a German games magazine back in, um, 1997/98!? Anyho, during that time when I was still nerdy enough to care about nerdy things like nerdy German games magazines. It was a full CD. Hm, actually, wait a minute...

Can't find it ATM, but I'm sure it's around here somewhere. I'm at home (parents' house). As far as I can remember, the demo lasted quite long. Lots of long FMV sequences, some "gameplay" bits. My b-day? Check my profile!
Weird. Was there any nudity in the demo?
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:49 PM   #6
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Not really. I think the demo ended with the last shot you posted above. Talk about wetting one's appetite...
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by samIamsad
Not really. I think the demo ended with the last shot you posted above. Talk about wetting one's appetite...
It's weird, in the full game, they seem to stick a bookmark before every single nudie scene, as if they knew people would want to skip to all the "good parts."
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by temporaryscars
It's weird, in the full game, they seem to stick a bookmark before every single nudie scene, as if they knew people would want to skip to all the "good parts."


Seriously, I'm impressed. I thought nudity was such an issue in the US?
Or did you play the French Special Edition? (TM)
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by samIamsad


Seriously, I'm impressed. I thought nudity was such an issue in the US?
Or did you play the French Special Edition? (TM)
It's only an issue to the older people mostly, and PC games go largely unchecked...or, perhaps it was because it's more like a movie. I have no clue, but I do remember a slew of nakie games that came out for the 3DO to help boost sales. I dunno, at 5 in the morning, hours away from a dentist's chair, everything is a mystery to me.
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:59 AM   #10
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LOL. Well, you're gonna get Indigo Prophecy un-sex-ed. And German game characters like to bleed green slime. Or oil. Or both. Or not at all. Ah, f%&k it, we're all screwed.
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:02 AM   #11
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LOL. Well, you're gonna get Indigo Prophecy un-sex-ed. And German game characters like to bleed green slime. Or oil. Or both. Or not at all. Ah, f%&k it, we're all screwed.
Oh no i'm not! It's a lil' something I call ebay.uk

Green blood eh? Same thing we got with House of the Dead.

Screwed we are. sighhhhhhhh
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:11 AM   #12
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Oh no i'm not! It's a lil' something I call ebay.uk

Green blood eh? Same thing we got with House of the Dead.

Screwed we are. sighhhhhhhh
Haha! Yeah, I ordered the US or UK version of AvP2, when it came out. Super expensive, but at least it let me do my nasty headbites. Honestly, who could do without? Do ya mean House Of The Dead the movie? Probably not. Well, the movie was "directed" by a German. Ho-hum.

To get back on topic, I actually found the demo quite interesting, but I coudn't figure out where they wanted to go with this one. FMV sequences were all the rage at a certain point of my gaming life, even though I had only played GK2, Phantasmagoria, A Puzzle Of Flesh, Ripper and the Wing Commander games. Have you ever played Wing Commander IV? The game starts with a 20 minutes(!) or so movie sequence of Hollywoodesque proportions. I was blown away. God knows why...
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:18 AM   #13
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See, why can't my reviews be actually fun to read? I drag on and on about nothing, and here you are not even trying. You sicken me.
 
Old 08-05-2005, 10:05 AM   #14
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See, why can't my reviews be actually fun to read? I drag on and on about nothing, and here you are not even trying. You sicken me.
Ah pish posh! Reviews for bad games are always more fun to read!

Thanks just the same buhhhhhhhhhhdeeeeeeeeee
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Old 08-05-2005, 10:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samIamsad
Not really. I think the demo ended with the last shot you posted above. Talk about wetting one's appetite...
That would be "whetting". I don't want to know what you were wetting.

IIRC, you should be able to get the same scene Temp posted the picture of, but without the bra, if you answer the questions anti-Michael, anti-wife, and pro-nurse. At least, it worked for me.

Quote:
Seriously, I'm impressed. I thought nudity was such an issue in the US?
Not until our president started phoning God up on a regular basis and Janet Jackson's boob slipped out on television.

As for this "game" - I liked it, a lot. It's a very passive experience, yet it creeped me out and I felt like I had much more of a personal investment in it than I often do in games. I was glued to it, for one thing. Played the whole game in two nights, and when I wasn't playing it, I was thinking about it. (Not like THAT, you perverts. )

As for Michael's "man body" - I liked it much more than the boobies. So I'm glad there was a balance.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by fov
That would be "whetting". I don't want to know what you were wetting.

IIRC, you should be able to get the same scene Temp posted the picture of, but without the bra, if you answer the questions anti-Michael, anti-wife, and pro-nurse. At least, it worked for me.



Not until our president started phoning God up on a regular basis and Janet Jackson's boob slipped out on television.

As for this "game" - I liked it, a lot. It's a very passive experience, yet it creeped me out and I felt like I had much more of a personal investment in it than I often do in games. I was glued to it, for one thing. Played the whole game in two nights, and when I wasn't playing it, I was thinking about it. (Not like THAT, you perverts. )

As for Michael's "man body" - I liked it much more than the boobies. So I'm glad there was a balance.
Well, I think the big thing that affected my score was that going into it, I thought it was going to be a game along the lines of Amber: Journies Beyond or Phantasmagoria. When I played it, you didn't do or collect anything, resulting in a huge WTF from me. But still, the story kept me going, so it wasn't all bad. I just don't see how you could have liked it sooooooo much.
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