- Innovative features
- Quality Pornstars
- Quality Videos
- Poor acting chops
- Credit based payment system
Back in the 90s there was a very particular video game genre that came and went without so much as a hush, because it was overly optimistic and no-one really seemed to care about the quality it provided. It was the FMV genre. There were several large scale adventure games made in which you interact with a real world environment, recorded with a proper film camera. It was basically just a glorified compilation of cinematic scenes that you would navigate through by choosing where to go and who to talk to, but everything was pre-recorded. In essence, you were just watching a movie.
This genre died really fast because it was not earning back the money it took to produce and film the entire project. After all, these games required more money to produce than actual high-budget movies, because you’d have to tack on the expense of programming and distribution. However, in recent years, more specifically in 2011, LifeSelector took this same concept and brought it into the world of porn, where it was much better suited.
An Original Take On an Old Concept
Imagine that you’re watching a high-budget smut production from your favorite triple A studio, but you can interrupt the action midway through and choose what happens next. That’s what Life Selector are hoping to bring you with their innovative gameplay.
In fact, it’s a bit of a stretch to call it gameplay, in that it’s more of an interactive video player, mixed together into a singular experience. You’ve got a porn flick featuring several really hot babes in a scripted scenario, and they’re ready to get hot and heavy. You arrive on the scene, in first person of course, and you get a prompt on the screen. You then choose which of the girls to converse with, with some background information on what it is they want. Are you going to help your step-daughter with her homework, or talk to her friend about her boyfriend troubles? You see where this is going.
From there, you take one of them aside, you chat a little bit and the naughty play can commence. She starts to strip, she tells you she’s into you and now you have to decide how to fuck her. There will be several stops along the way letting you choose what you want to do next, but in essence, you’ve just watched a regular triple A production smut film, without realizing it. It felt more like a gameplay experience than a movie because you’re given some form of interaction.
For as long as porn has existed, producers have pondered better ways of making the viewer feel like they’re a part of the action. This is how the gonzo genre was invented and it’s why POV is such a popular genre with many subgenres beneath. It makes sense that you’d like to feel like you’re a part of the action. Watching some random guy getting blown isn’t nearly as satisfying as pretending that it’s happening to you.
So to that end, there haven’t been many solutions other than the aforementioned POV, which is just a cheap trick. The placement of the camera doesn’t matter much. At the end of the day, you’re staring at the girl’s private parts while she’s screaming pleasure moans.
Life Selector are taking the experience several steps further by letting you have a hand in the events that unravel on screen. It’s no longer just about pretending that you’re a part of the action – you actually dictate the action with your mouse clicks.
Unfortunately, technology hasn’t gotten us so far as to allow you to actually intervene while the actual sex is happening on screen. Maybe someday we’ll be able to generate realistic renditions of our favorite pornstars, and maybe we’ll be able to fuck them in VR. That would be the day. But until then this cinematic, episodic, scene-by-scene breakdown with branching choices is the best you’re going to get.
The Acting Chops
Because this immersive genre invites a lot of RPG elements, the narrative has to be gripping, otherwise there will be no point to actually choosing what happens next. You can’t keep slamming the “anal” button over and over again. You need variety if you’re going to be sucked into the illusion of choice.
Life Selector knew this so they went out of their way to establish a bit of a storytelling standard with their pornstars. Now, these girls are mostly known in the triple A porn industry for their sexual talents. If they were talented actresses, they wouldn’t be doing porn. Still, they try really hard to sell their lines convincingly, and there’s certainly a ton of talking in these scenes.
In most of the stories, you actually know the girls you’re interacting with. At the very least you know the first girl you run into. This could be your girlfriend, your wife, or some girl that’s really pining for your cock. Either way, things start of well for you, and you can pretty much fast track your way to having sex with them.
As for your character, it’s a different guy across different videos, but you see as little of him as possible, and his face is never shown. This reinforces the feeling of you being the person that the girls are interacting with. It’s not about the guy, it’s about you. In most of the videos, your thoughts are also narrated in your head, to direct you around the gameplay, if you can call it that. That’s how you know the background of the characters. It also gives you some general information on what you can expect to happen down the line if you pursue a certain story branch.
The Average Story
Unfortunately, these “games” are far detached enough from actual RPGs to not actually feature branching story paths. In essence, you’re going to see a set of 2-3 sex scenes with one or more particular girls – same as you would in a normal triple A porn video. Except, they cut apart the different sex scenes, usually by sexual position, and you get to choose between them. So if things start to get heated, you can ask for a handjob, a blowjob or a kiss, for instance. Then, from there, you can ask for one of the other choices, or proceed to undressing the girl.
After that, you can start fingering her pussy, ask her for anal or tease her clit. They’re standard choices and the kind of sexual antics you’d see in a normal video, but in this case they’re chopped up so that you can feel the illusion of choice.
This gets super disappointing really fast though, because up to two of the choices are free at a time, and the other ones, usually the better ones, cost credits, and you have to constantly refill credits. You see, this site does not feature a paid subscription that lets you enjoy yourself as much as you’d like. The site itself is technically free. However, every time you get to make a choice in a given video, you have to pay between around 5 and 20 credits, or go for the free option which is always the most boring of the bunch.
You can get 13750 credits for $200, which should last you a really long time, but a single paid subscription would surely be the better option here. Whatever the case, the option is there if you want to use it. Otherwise you’re stuck to only viewing the free scenes.
If you’d like to skip all the per-coin payment, you could just purchase the entire movie for a couple hundred coins and jump through it at your own pace, with no more paid prompts. You can skip ahead or backwards any way you’d like.
Not Really a Game
For all intents and purposes Life Selector is absolutely not a porn game. If anything it is a standard triple A porn website with some game-like features added in for fun. You need to do the math on the credits to figure out whether it’s a worthwhile investment for you, because the content itself isn’t actually bad.
On top of that the website runs really well both on mobile and on PC and they have a very modern crisp design, so you’re definitely getting your money’s worth there. The only thing you need to consider is whether the actual gameplay format works for you, and whether you can reliably jack off to it.
Keep in mind that the cutout scenes last around 30 seconds a piece and then you either get jumped to the next one or you have to make a decision. This can be really immersion breaking for some people. The best course of action would be to make a free account on the site and go through a few videos before you pay for any credits and if you like what you see, break out the old coinpurse.
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