I'm still beavering away on the next "Escape the Cushionblob" (or Pink Slime girl or Pink Jelly girl) CYOA piece. Likely because I'm getting carried away and writing too much for each segment, but never mind...
I normally talk about the Japanese sex games, but here are a couple of Western erotic horror games that caught my eye.
Agony is probably the more famous one as it also had a console release.
It's a first person survival horror set in hell. The aesthetic looks pretty cool. There are also succubi, other demons with big boobs, various bits of suggestive imagery, and lotz and lotz of claret 'n' gore, if the various trailers are anything to go by.
This one I haven't played. I was impressed by the look of the game (and tits and succubi). Unfortunately the reception after release has not been so positive. From what I've heard the game play and technical stuff don't live up to the promise of the aesthetic. I'll wait until a patch and sale before giving it a go.
The one I did play was Lust for Darkness.
This has been on my radar since seeing some let's play footage of the demo at the start of the year. It takes the classic Lovecraftian tropes of cults and eldritch abominations and throws in some kinky sex stuff on top. You play a husband trying to rescue his wife from a creepy sex cult that kidnapped her a year ago. The creepy sex cult is attempting to bring a dimension of pure lust into our world with a midnight ritual. It's first principles Lovecraftian horror, in that the game creates its own eldritch abominations and alien dimensions rather than name-checking Cthulhu and chums.
It also manages the odd feat of being both over-the-top and understated. You can't walk five paces without seeing a salacious statue, finding a kinky sex toy hidden in a drawer or have a bare-breasted cultist (or demon) jiggle her tits in your face. But it also seems natural. You'd expect to see these things in the mansion of the psychopathic leader of a weirdo sex cult, so their presence seems organic rather than crowbarred in for shock value or titillation.
The look of the sex dimension Lusst'ghaa is a little mixed. They clearly aren't fucking around as you can see right after entering the dimension for the first time:
For me it felt a little too "generic videogame alien world". The devs chose to base it on the works of Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński, which are weird, but also the sort of weird that's been seen many times over in games with weird alien universes. It's also your typical alien plane of death. The booby alien demons seem more interested in slicing you in half and most of the cultists learn fairly quickly that Lusst'ghaa is more interested in tearing them apart than granting them all of their carnal desires. I would have liked to have seen a sexier (but still dangerous) world. There is a room near the end with plenty of debauchery on full display, which is fairly imaginative, but I think the game would have benefited from blurring more sexy into the horrific. Maybe given the main character a few more detailed death scenes rather than a splash of red and fade to black.
Of course, go too far and you run into the problems the Agony people had, so devs have to tread a fine line if they want to be able to actually release and sell their game.
Overall I thought Lust for Darkness was okay if a little short for the price. It's good to see games experiment with more adult themes/visuals in a way that fits the story. I hope we see more game devs taking risks on this type of content, and maybe try to push boundaries further.