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School Dreams 3: School Dreams Forever

by GoblinBoy

Episode 3 of School Dreams

(based on 5 ratings)
1 review

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Exciting, boring, nauseating, July 14, 2012
by Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.)

Note: the following review is for an AIF game. There is some spicy talk in the spoiler space below.

(Spoiler - click to show)SD3 is AIF set in and around a British secondary school. Fresh off the events of the previous installments (which I haven't played), you are urged by your best friend to score with his younger sister. Whether or not you choose to accept this particular mission, you'll have sex with a wide array of basically similar and remarkably forgiving girls, the least of which is your ostensible girlfriend. And they are all girls. There are a few adult women in the game about whom you can DAYDREAM, but the focus is squarely on the underage set. The PC is presumably 16 or thereabouts, so the partners might be narratively appropriate, but the player is very probably a balding middle-aged nerd, which makes the whole thing a little unsavory.

There are some suggestions that the game is set a couple of decades ago. There are VCRs, but no cellphones; David Hasselhoff, but no Bieber. However, the girls all have modern hairstyles and clothes, and, perhaps more to the point, Brazilians and landing strips and the like. I have no idea if these were la mode among British schoolgirls circa 1994, but I am skeptical.

The big draw of SD3, and I'm guessing the reason it's so highly-rated (with 11 Erin awards, and a bunch of five-star ratings here), is that it's lavishly illustrated, with dozens of images ranging from the suggestive to the hardcore. The original illustrations all have that polygonish, alien computer art look, but a few of them are pretty hot. There are some real photos as well, including the aforementioned Mr. Hasselhoff in full Baywatch gear (surely the hottest of all). I found that the images overwhelmed the text -- blah blah creamy globes, blah blah moist treasures, let's move on to the next picture -- which is probably not a bad thing.

Although it's parser-based, the gameplay is CYOA-style. Do you ask your friend's sister on a date, or your own girlfriend, or someone else? How much money do you want to spend? And what to do about that other girl, vigorously masturbating just around the corner? The game tracks the various girls' attitudes towards you, and opens and closes certain paths accordingly. The paths mostly lead to similar places, of course. And that's literally: many of the locations you can visit are homes, and they all have exactly the same floorplan.

The parser provides bare-minimum functionality for the parts that don't involve sexytime. Even the sexytime parts are sort of minimal. Sure, all the basics are covered, but the game doesn't appear interested in implementing very much beyond thrusting and groping. (That said, it is almost adorable that it understands HOLD HANDS). It also nods a little too much towards realism, so to speak. I wanted to just throw down Stiffy-style wherever and whenever it seemed like it would be entertaining, but the game insisted on privacy and propriety, except at the very end.

So SD3 is not very good IF. Is it good porn? Sometimes. Like porn generally, it's exciting at first, turns repetitive and boring after a little while, and occasionally veers into gross. The younger sister storyline leads at the end to what must be the single most appalling sentence I've ever seen in IF:

(Spoiler - click to show)"Fuck yes, sis!" Mike crows. "Nice cunt!"

The sex scenes can last as long as you like, and a great deal longer. After the fourteenth orgasm or so, you might want to leave the room, but the game will insist that you WITHDRAW first. (It's an oversight we're all guilty of from time to time). SCORE keeps track of your scoring, naturally, but I found it a source of humiliation. Having combined every verb and noun I could think of, I managed to bring my virtual girlfriend to orgasm in only 6 of 26 ways before giving up.

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