Leah and I just finished playing through Tender Loving Care, a mid-nineties example of the largely defunct genre of Interactive Movies — essentially a B-movie wherein you’re given occasional chances to interact with events in a limited sort of way. It’s a genre that flopped pretty hardcore due to a combination of high prices, limited interactivity (Though realistically speaking, only a little lower than your average adventure game of the time; this was an era where shallow, underimplemented games outnumbered the really good ones several billion to one), and bad acting.
Tender Loving Care has the distinction of starring William Hurt, featuring a a bit of nudity roughly comparable to what you’d see on Cinemax around midnight, coming from the minds behind The Seventh Guest, and being released on DVD — not DVD-ROM (It was released on DVD-ROM, but that edition is well out of print), but an actual stick-it-in-the-box-under-your-TV DVD. The DVD edition is even more limited in its interactivity than the PC version (which used The Seventh Guest’s “Groovie” engine), but your expectations are lower for a pure DVD. We found it a fun play all the same.
Baf recently played through the PC version to completion, so I won’t bother with interrupting the Moriartython for a full review, but I thought I’d like to share with you a couple of scenes from this game’s gimmick: the Thematic Apperception Test. It’s the closest thing this game has to puzzles — their purpose is to generate a ersatz psychological profile for you, on the basis of which the game chooses between various alternate scenes and edits — indicate that you’re not in the mood for a little spicyness, the camera cuts away a few seconds early when the nurse changes her top. If you’re into harsh punishment, one character uses a hammer instead of his fist at a key moment.
Occasionally throughout the game, the questions get a little… Surprising:
… And why is she shoving a laurel in it?
… Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O. And on this farm he had a penis, E-I-E-I-O
… Because it’s your dog!
… What never? No, never! What never? Hardly ever!
… Those eighties chicks were always getting this “Mmm, not-so-fresh” feeling. I’m not exactly sure what the solution was, but it seemed to involve vinegar and water, and may have been some kind of salad dressing.
Look at the smile on that Kangaroo’s face and tell me you don’t want some of what he’s on.
… Damnit, deputy, I told you to round me up a little POSSE!
This game has issues.
… Don’t worry. Temporary Rondo Hattenism happens to a lot of guys…
… Don’t worry little boy, the librarian with the rifle will shoot the doctor before he can use that phallus on you!
Addendum: If you happen to have a copy of this game and would like to see the version of the story Leah and I made, use the code
76, 80, 35, 8F, 75, 42, 61, 9A, 6C