Venus Hostage | 4/5 | Website
Let’s be clear: this isn’t a sex game. This is a first person game with some occasional sex. If you’re still reading, then maybe you’ll find something to like in this budget priced short adventure. Venus Hostage by developer Mirage Lab tells a simple story that sees the protagonist get caught up in one bizarre scenario after another with many unexpected twists and turns. The gameplay involves a great deal of puzzle solving, but it is all based on common sense and manipulating items in the environment. In fact most of the game is without combat, and provides a single player adventure style game. In the early parts of the story, you’d have to be a retard not to know what to do to advance to the next section, but it gets more challenging and interesting as you go on. There are some scenes that require fast thinking in a dangerous situation and you’ll feel smart for figuring out a solution in time.
It is a completely linear progression, not unlike any Half Life game, which is what I was reminded of most often while playing. There is a cinematic presentation, with story cut scenes interspersed seamlessly among player controlled action. I found the game aesthetically pleasing; the graphics are old school, but still look very nice. Voice acting (in English) helps bring the characters and situations to life. Sound effects are acceptable and the music is very good.
There is some combat, and although the controls are a little awkward they get the job done. There are also some welcome moments of sex and nudity, and although not as much as I would have liked, it gives the player the feeling of being in an adult world, and not strictly a violent one as portrayed by many other video games.
Although it isn’t very long, it is definitely worth the $9.95 price tag for this unique and unpredictible experience. It doesn’t shy away from adult content and sexuality, and rewards the player for thinking of the best way out of each hairy situation, even if a little contrived. I look forward to more releases from Mirage Lab.
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