Smooching Review Thread ~ No more smooches :(

Now that I’ve finished my French Comp entry and all the Seedcomp! organisation stuff, I can sit back, relax and PLAY SOME GAMESES :smiley:

I am about a week late with the Smoochie Jam already…
24 entries submitted (incl me!), quite a handful of Visual Novels, and a bunch of vampires !
The Queer Vampire Game Jam ran around the same time.

I’ve already go through the warnings of the entry, and a bunch of them are very NSFW, so I’ll try to be vague or use more spoilers when discussing them.

The games played are all listed on the IFDB.


Poetry and Passion, by Leia Talon (@LeiaTalon)

Poetry and Passion is a short ChoiceScript game, in which you spend the magical night of the full moon with your lover, with your romantic ending of choice. Though, before you can abandon yourself in the steamy make-out session or the sentimental walk in the arms of your beloved, tension must slowly rise.

Stolen glances and a delicious meal, brushes of the hand and delectable beverages, short breath and spontaneous poems… The prose of this entry is as smooth as caramel and goes down like a spiced bourbon. It is beautifully evocative and so romantic. I really liked the sweetness and gentleness in the movements.

Also extra biased points for the description of the food. :stuck_out_tongue:


Milliseconds of Romance, by Joey Tanden (@inventor200 )

Sidenote: this is the author’s first non-parser game :stuck_out_tongue:
And also using my Twine template :wink:

Milliseconds of Romance is a short Twine romance story where you play as a Tresys, some sort of Artificial Intelligence, a good one, that follows its directive, handling data and learning from them, ever so growing in hopes to get rewarded for it (because you are a good Tresys). Set in the close future of 2057, spanning less than a second, at the dawn of its kind’s collapse, YOU receive a strange data package, that might change how you see things…

Behind the metaphors and the technical writing of the system, emerges a sweet story of two individuals finding each other, trying to find their footing in that strange dance of data mangling. Your partner’s voice is inviting, and weirdly human-like, teasing you to escape your comfort zone to experience the wonders of the unknown, playing against your timidity and controlled ways. I liked how even in the short span of the story, you grow and get more assurance in your actions, interested in seeing what’s out there. You know, getting out of your shell.

The game also includes 5 endings, all of which are pretty easy to get. The BEST ending had me giggling like a schoolgirl. :stuck_out_tongue:


blood4blood, by Kit H.J.

The game blurb warns you at the start how NSFW it is. It really does not shy away from explicit suggestive content.

blood4blood is a steamy Twine interactive story, where you play as a hungry lesbian vampire on Valentine’s Day. Hoping to find your fix, and get you going just a bit longer, you stumble inside your regular bar and look for your next meal. Under the heat of the season, surrounded by mingling bodies, two paths opens up to you - future interactions mirroring the composure of the two women reaching out to you. Will you follow the rough around the edges but clearly lonely butch woman or the cladly dressed bubbly femme who just bought you a drink?

The prose has a strong focus on the physicality, from the descriptions of the movements of the characters to the deep and tortuous sensations of hunger (in all terms, almost addictive). It is raw, and carnal, and savage. But there’s still a bit of sweetness and tenderness to it at times. I think I liked the “softer” path out of the two, it had a playful moment that threw me out of the loop - feigning an early end.

There are a few assets in the game, in shades of bright red to pop against the dark bordeau, and illustrations in greyscales with hints of vermillont. The simplicity of the style is quite lovely, and, when the illustrated portrait are formatted as VN-speech boxes, it makes for quite the sleek look. By the end of my run, I was sort of wishing the use of the latter was a bit more consistent throughout the game, maybe cover the dialogues, because they look so cool. Could even be a super neat VN if the author wished to.

Anyways, a neat read


My Demonically Lovelly Valentine!, by DonutWorks

My Demonically Lovelly Valentine! is a short Valentine-themed visual novel following Maria, a down-on-her-love young woman looking for a date for Valentine’s Day. Having depleted all possible options due to her peculiar hobbies, she decides to turn towards the dark arts to make her dream come true !

The entry is very charming. From the atmospheric music to the illustration, the silly premise and the witty writing, it’s as sweet as saccharine. A really cute bite for Valentine !


Last one for today, and it’s another adorable one !!

I’ll Drive, by alyshkalia (@alyshkalia)

I’ll Drive is a short linear ink piece about first loves, will-they-won’t-they, and the anxious feelings you get before confessing. Formatted in a script-like fashion, cutting between short scenes, we follow a group of teenagers (three siblings and a friend) on a road-trip, controlling the actions of Luke, the lovesick friend. Will Luke find the courage to confess?

If you can over the second-hand embarrassment of tripping over yourself while trying to be helpful, or blurting out your extremely embarrassing memories, you will find a very sweet and tender story about too dumb teenagers in love (and the comical sister sidekicks).

Ouch, my stone heart. I felt a pinch.


Thank you for the lovely review!!


Thanks for playing! :grin: I’m glad you had fun with it!!


OK! I am back playing more gameses! I have so many to go through still…

Sweet Cravings, by veracity

Note: there is a NSFW version of this game, which is available for $5. I’ve only played the free version, but I’m guessing the NSFW one is longer.

Sweet Cravings is a short Visual Novel, where you play as Camilla, a young witch, trying to get the courage to go on a date with June, the waitress at the eponymous bakery. There are a handful of choices (for flavour), and a bouquet-making mini-game. There seems to be only one ending, with the game going back to the menu abruptly without real conclusion (maybe because it’s locked behind the NSFW version).

The visuals of the game is pretty polished, with a cute an bubbly art style and cheerful sound effect. It even switches from different interfaces (usual VN, phone screen, mini-game). There were just a few moments where the screen flashed black between some transition, but it wasn’t too bad.

Even though it is short, it is adorable AS HECK. I really liked the exchanged between Camilla and her friends (especially the phone chat, it was funny). It manages to capture the jittery feelings of a first date so well. I do wish there were a bit more choices, and a more satisfying end.


Familiar, by slugzuki (@slugzuki)

NSFW scenes included in one path.

Familiar is a short Twine game, a sort of dating-sim sequel to Computerfriend, where you go back to Godfield, Louisiana, years later, meeting C by chance (?) on the street. Following an impromptu date, you are given two paths.

There’s always something off about Kit’s games, in a way that it is always both confusing and comforting. It hits all the melancholic and nostalgic points, leering you in with the sense of familiarity and those bittersweet feelings of “coming home but it doesn’t feel like home”… but always keeping you at bay, unable to see behind the veil, put off by the visceral descriptions and the unsaid. There’s also an interesting between-the-line discussion of what it is to be human, with C being an AI in a part-machine-part-flesh body and you who don’t seem to feel quite alive (that probably gave me extra existential dread…). I also really liked the discussion in the movie theatre about those Soviet movie and the point of it all.

This wasn’t really what I imagined a Computerfriend dating-sim would be like, but it even better.

Can we have a sequel/side path where you realise who C is and make it even more awkward, because who doesn’t love the former therapist hooking up with a former patient tope ? :green_heart:


Blood and Intimacy, by alyshkalia (@alyshkalia)

Note: this is a companion piece to Blood and Company, with both games submitted to the Queer Vampire Jam. I previously reviewed B&C on IFDB.

Blood and Intimacy is a short but sweet Ink story following student Lyle and their vampire boyfriend Zach, during an intimate snapshot. On a Thanksgiving break, the two watch a movie, cuddling… that might be leading to more.

I really enjoyed how the concept of intimacy was used here, focusing on the more emotional aspect of the term, where touch is not just a physical action bringing a physical reaction, but creating a bond between the partners. The painted picture of this form of intimacy is lovely and touching. I also liked the subtle discussion about boundaries and consent, through Lyle’s thoughts about their previous make-out sessions and Zach’s requests.

It feels so comfortable and sweet !

also, it’s funny how both games start in the same fashion, loved that lil mirror!


Relationships 101, by Matchstick IF

Relationships 101 is a Twine college story, following your relationship with Harper, moving towards a romantic relationship or strengthening your friendship. I found 3 endings.

This was a pretty sweet slice-of-life piece, starting with an affectionate depiction of a friendship between you and Harper, being there for and supporting one another, giving you ample options to affect how this relationship will evolve into. I first picked to stay friends, so it continued down that path, and it was really nice. I appreciated the maturity of Harper when being rejected, and how levelled the communication between characters is depicted.

It’s definitely a feel-good piece.


I am back from my hike to play some more games.

constellate, by 30x30 (@30x30)

constellate is a short Twine piece about (as the blurb calls it) two emotionally obtuse lesbians (Alexandra and Eris) in space. It is winter, it is cold, and neither can figure out how to resolve the conflict in their hearts. It does not help that one of them is a former warlord, and you play as her former soldier - playing pretend of a new life away from everything can only go so far.

Like 30x30’s previous works, the prose is luscious and full of imagery. The tension is palpable between the two, as both are filled with guilt over their actions and their feelings. And you can try to flick through cycle-links to figure out how you feel about the whole thing, but especially her - though its effect will be limited. Out of the 9 endings, it is clear none of them really resolve the issue at heart, and the (im)balance of power between the two. I liked that about the story.


the phantown’s valentine mystery, by discoreunion

Unrelated but another francophone !

the phantown’s valentine mystery is a short silly Valentine visual novel, filled with puns. Set in Phantown, you play as Ins Spector, a detective looking for the yearly serial ghost kisser before it gets to its next victim. You can talk to the past victims, hoping for some sort of a clue, think of a perpetrator, and hope you solved the mystery correctly before revealing it all !

The premise is very silly, the writing simply pun-y, and the overall interface does push this absurd envelop further with its childish-like. It’s a short time, but a funny one.



This is a very NSFW entry, with explicit sexual scenes.
It was also submitted to the Queer Vamp Jam.

The Curse of Unatxi Kamala is a binksi purely kinetic entry following the eponymous character, a Spanish witch, as she visits Glastonbury, the UK witchcraft capital and has a strange encounter. The game calls itself smut, and the crux of the story does revolve around its main explicit scene.

Sandwiched between the teenager’s recollections of uncomfortable pasts, description of the present visit, and hopeful dreams of the future, is a raw depiction of strangers meeting, flirting, and getting down and dirty in a forest. It really does not shy away from being explicit, showing the yearnings, the physicality, and even the awkward uttered words.

I also liked the retro/vcr-effect interface. It gave it an eerie vibe.


I Want to Kiss, by MeiMeiStudios

I Want to Kiss is a short visual novel about that first relationship in (high? middle?) school and accepting the other’s differences. Just before winter break, you asked out a girl you had fallen for from afar. Now back in school, you want to try whatever it takes to get closer to your girlfriend, and maybe even get to kiss her. But… how will you react to her secret?

It was a pretty charming and sweet time. The visual introduction of the girlfriend felt a bit out of place compared to the simple style of the interface, but it made me giggle too. I liked how emotions were portrayed on the sprites, it was cute!


Stigmata, by vileidol

This was also submitted to the Queer Vamp Jam. There is some suggestive content, but nothing too explicit.

What do you do when you, a vampire, are faced with a vampire hunter pointing a crossbow at your chest, while, incidentally, in the bed of his daughter? Or better yet, what can you do?

Stigmata is a Twine piece about survival, identity, and relationships. You play as a vampire found in your lover’s bed by her vampire hunter dad, fighting your way to escape (and the pointed insult coming your way). As your standing in this fight becomes uncertain, memories of your Sire and of your meeting with your lover intertwine, painting a picture of who you are… and how you got into this sticky situation. There are 3 endings in this story, with some path insinuating maybe your lover’s implication in all this.

The writing is quite emotionally charged, and gruesome at times, especially during physically demanding sequences. The depiction of the PC being a filthy thing who corrupted the virtuous daughter and which should be hunted down was disconcerting, but evocative of the usual rejection and derogatory depiction of queer individuals.

I didn’t always feel immersed in the story, probably because of the often confusion shift in timelines and interlocutor. But I liked the conversations with the Sire the most, those were pretty interesting.


Last one for today

Angelblood, by LittleMissLeeStories and CyberSe7en

Angelblood is a fairly long gorgeous and highly stylised visual novel, edging the fine line between romance and horror. You play as Quin, a witch working in a magical pawnshop at the Crossroad between worlds. Your world turns upside down when a peculiar character waltz in: a vampiric angel. How will you handle this novelty?

There is something interesting about mixing the celestial (angel) with the corrupt (vampires), creating a strange world filled with ancient lore forgotten with time or apocalyptic events. The vampiric angel is incredibly gorgeous and frightening; the holy warrior is protecting but with a hint of unhinged; trades are what runs this world, with memories as currency… Nothing you see, nothing you believe, nothing is what it seems. In this world of Good vs Evil, everyone here is neither, no matter how they justify their actions.

The religious symbolisms mixed in the story makes for a fascinating world-building, with the all seeing eye that does nothing, the hand that forgives but also hurts, the wink to biblical accurate angels with the sprite, the separation of the flesh and the divine, the holy and the damned… There are definitely layers in this story, which might require a few runs to find all the links between everything.

While it is an incredible game, both in the visual and narrative side, there is little left for the player to do. Aside from a couple of choices, with the final one deciding which ending you will end up with, you are pulled along the story, clicking the screen for the next sentence to appear (I think it took me 30-45min before reaching the end?). Where it not for the styling (and wanting to see whether I’d have a choice at all)…
With the level of polish considering the tight deadline of a jam, it is understandable to have such linear story. But it would have been interesting to have more agency, especially when talking to the different NPCs coming to the shop.

Still, bonus point for the cute kitten.


Only a few games left!~

One Night Fairytale, by Kayel

One Night Fairytale is a cheeky short VN, where you play as a fairytale-jaded servant at a fancy noble party in some unnamed fairytale kingdom, when you are pulled aside by a strange character, your “Fairy Godmother” - Ash. Hoping to get you to believe in the power of love, you are thrust into this fancy world as if by magic. Will you find your Prince Charming?

This was a fun and cute short time, poking fun at fairytale characters. And overall, the interface was pretty nice – like fairly tales, it’s pretty dreamy. Though, I think it could have included sprites for the different princes you end up dancing with. There were a few moments were the text was a bit hard to read against the background, but History does record everything if needs be.


Bonded in Darkness, by Natasha Luna

This was also submitted to the Queer Vampire Jam

Bonded in Darkness is a dark visual novel, where you play as Arnaud, a recluse vampire. His peaceful existence is often interrupted by Julien, a vampire hunter tasked to kill him, though the latter never manages to finish the job. Everything changes one night, then Julien appears at Arnaud’s doorstep, gravely injured. Will you tend to him or leave him to fend for himself?

While the game mentions having 4 endings, one good and three bad, I’ve only found two (which I think are the bad ones? it’s coded as enemies-to-lovers…), so I don’t feel yet like I had the full experience with this entry. From what I did get though, I quite enjoyed this darker atmosphere, with this dangerous tension between the two characters. They have history together, one is currently at the mercy of the other, and there are many moments where they could take advantage of the situation to end each other. It makes you think of which choice to pick, because any wrong move, and you might die…

I also really liked the sprite for Arnaud… gosh damn!

EDIT: Now that the walkthrough has been published, I was able to play the Good ending. And gosh darn, it is so sweet!