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Game #3468
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Desert Heat    View all Top Dogs in this genreCollection: IF Competition Favorites
Interactive Fiction   Choose Your Own Adventure

Rating: 5 (18 votes)

Desert Heat box cover

Desert Heat screenshot
Desert Heat is a fun and well-written, albeit stereotypical, “choose your own adventure” (CYOA) adult-content romance game that placed 28th in the 2000 IF Competition. Like traditional CYOA books, you are given a very detailed description of the world around you (your alter ego is female in this game) and then asked to make a decision (1, 2, 3 etc.) Baf’s brief review: “A CYOA tale of intrigue and sexual slavery--you're an Arab woman at the center of some nefarious plots and romantic entanglements. The branching usually doesn't go very deep--most of the branches rejoin the main story before long--but there's enough variety to justify several trips through the story, and the choices you make do affect the text you see later on. The sexual content is fairly explicit, though, I thought, not gratuitously so, and it does reflect the story. As with any CYOA story, there's not a lot of interactivity here, but it's still a pretty good story.“

The game does contain some sexually explicit content and use of stereotypes some might find objectionable, but I feel this is justified in the context of the game, because there is no indication that the author uses stereotypes as a “propaganda tool” to publicize negative or biased views. Tina Sikorski says it much better in her review for SPAG: “Stereotypical stories are sometimes, instead, more archetypal; they use settings, people, and situations that we all are familiar with, and merely attempt to display the story in a manner in which will appeal. I believe that this was the author's intent (although don't know for sure), and if so, it worked quite well for me. Others, looking for something new and original, will probably prefer to give this a pass, although I might add that there is not much in the way of either new or original left in the world. It is merely the skill with which stories are displayed that, ultimately, determines how people react to it. Adam Cadre, whose opinion I quite respect but with whom I frequently disagree, felt offended by the stereotypes in this game. Others saw his point. I disagreed, because I felt there was no intent to hold up and portray negative and shallow characters. I felt they were meant to be archetypes (see also Plot, above). So, be warned: there are no terribly deep characters in the game. You see only glimpses of their true personality, and even those show something fairly basic and, yes, cliche. But... it WORKS. This is not the real world. This is the storyworld, where everyone has a defined role, and everyone has a part to play. And it is the success in -that- upon which I rated the NPCs highly. Realism in NPCs is a prized thing, difficult to obtain, but the clever and careful use of caricature and archetype can result in some lovely story building. Desert Heat accomplishes this with flair.” If you enjoy CYOA books of yore (and if you do, you should visit our Gamebooks Collection), Desert Heat is a respectable, well-written work that is well worth your time.

Reviewed by: Underdogs

Designer: Papillon
Developer: Freeware
Publisher: Freeware
Year: 2000
Software Copyright: Papillon
Theme:  
Multiplayer:  
None that we know of
System Requirements: TADS
Where to get it:   IF Archive
Related Links:  
Links:    
If you like this game, try: Pytho's Mask, Choose Your Own Romance, Varicella

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