What do you do when you wake up in a giant vat of fluids, like something out of a sci-fi movie? Do you flip your shit and try to bust out, or maybe wait to see if someone talks to you? Before you even get the chance to decide, the tube empties of liquid, dries you with a warm gust, and opens up, letting you out into the world. On a nearby console, you see nothing useful aside from your name. In fact, you and the console have something in common: all you know is your name. You remember nothing of who you are, what you are, or why you woke up in a laboratory in a giant vat of liquid. None of that bothers you, because it’s time to go on an adventure as Lust Doll (or whatever you choose your name to be).
Lust Doll is a fairly small and unknown game, but I personally think it deserves some recognition. The story is only present in the first few seconds of the game, but it doesn’t even suffer from this. As a game still early in its development, Lust Doll can only offer so much, and I’m glad Indivi, the developer, opted to build a world and fill it with things to do, rather than write about a story that no one cared about to accompany Walking Simulator 2016.
The beautiful, shy girl next door secretly works in a BDSM Club? Guess who found a new waifu!
Although it is technically made in the RPG Maker engine, Lust Doll clearly shows no resemblance to the standard games you see coming out of said engine. The world uses a tile system for movement, with a glowing tile signifying where the player is and other significant landmarks using their own respective symbols. Getting into battles doesn’t take forever, and the fights themselves also go by quite quickly since there are no animations for you to watch your character act out a bazillion times. This makes grinding (which you never really have to do, except for money) a swift breeze. The menu is also a bit more expansive, letting you see status effects and what they do (such as certain moods giving bonuses to some of your stats, while debuffing others), the stats themselves, an incredibly customizable equipment system, a record of your previous “experiences”, and a simple, yet useful options menu. One of the best things about Lust Doll is the ability to change resolutions, and even go full screen. Everything looks good at the higher resolutions, but one downfall of full screen is that you cannot alt-tab out of it.
There are only five major areas to explore, with each area having multiple maps in each area. It acts much like The Legend of Zelda on NES with its map, except you’re locked in squares. Most of the game happens here instead of the simplistic combat, so expect to walk around and talk more than you fight. There will also be many times you’ll find yourself exploring hidden areas only to hit an impassable wall put in by the developer, so be prepared for a few instances of disappointment. Early into the game, you find a town where you’ll spend most of your time, and there are plenty of faceless NPCs here. Few offer actually useful information, with the vast majority of them talking about themselves or making some silly joke or internet reference. A good thing to note, however, is that every NPC with a portrait has additional content to them aside from simply meeting them. The world really gives off a Fallout vibe, in that the world was destroyed, then slowly and partially rebuilt.
The collar and blindfold were my idea, the temporary cock was hers.
The combat is quite simplistic, with each fight beginning with a portrait of the enemy popping up, along with a menu of options. Your repertoire is much like that of Corruption of Champions, with the user being able to fight, tease, etc. Again like CoC, each win results in the option to walk away or use your opponent if your lust is high enough. Probably my favorite feature of the game is the experience system that’s implemented in the game, and it’s a system that I think bigger, non-adult games should really use more often. For every significant action you take (both in and out of combat), you gain experience in the relevant stat, and only in that stat. If you attacked your enemy six times in one fight, got hit four times, and dodged two attacks, you would get six points towards your Fight, four towards Tolerance, and two towards Nimble. These points mean nothing until you get enough to level up the relevant stat, which provides a boost, though no actual numbers are given.
Another upside to the game is the amount of customization available. You start off creating your character by choosing your sex (although the game is being made around a female protagonist), choosing how they look, and other things of the sort. Within the actual game, the player has a huge amount of purchasable clothes to choose from, which all give their own stat boosts aside from making you look good. Transformations are few and far between, and I personally have not found a way to gain or lose sex organs, or really do anything to change my body. Perhaps Indivi will give Lust Doll a crafting system a la Fall of Eden, so that the player can use all the drops he/she gets from winning fights.
That’s not to say the game is without its flaws. Money is a tough resource to consistently get, and getting higher level stats only helps this if you know which monster to fight (cough giant worms cough), and with so many different costumes and permanent purchasables, it feels like a grind at points. There’s also multiple ways to game the leveling system and ways to easily restore your Health and Energy bar. For example, purchasing the apartment and following the story arc of your neighbor gives you access to a method of getting 40 points in Nimble, Fight, or Senses for free multiple times per day. Since one would have to hit enemies 40 times or dodge 40 attacks to get the equivalent, and since there is no repercussion or limit on this, there’s really no point in trying to raise your fighting stats by actually fighting. Another small way one can game Lust Doll is by using the showers in the gym. The showers are open to everyone, whether or not they have a pass, and they can be used to restore the player’s Energy as many times as they feel for free. The player can spend 8 credits at the massage parlor to do the same and get the Confident status effect, but one can get that for free at the library. Another strange thing about Lust Doll is that you can wear underwear or regular clothes, but not both at the same time.
To me, the sorts of flaws that I see in Lust Doll make me think that the developer is just putting in what sounds good without thinking about how it’s all going to coalesce. Of course, the game is still quite early in development, with many fixes and balances hopefully on the way. There’s no overarching story, and the main character doesn’t even seem to be concerned with figuring out who they are. All that being said, I quite like the game and hope that Indivi can really flesh it all out.