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Eroico (PC) artwork

Eroico (PC) review


"Where losing is winning."


Eroico is a porn-platformer.

I don't know that I've seen anything like it on Steam before. It has a 16-bit, pixel art aesthetic, and features a stout young lad en route to do something presumably heroic like defeat a demon lord (edit: yes, I've confirmed that's the mission, to defeat the demon lord). All the enemies of the land that beset him on his journey are monster-girls.

Their number is legion, their goal is unified: to stun our hero.

And to rape him.

I don't know how else to put this. The monster-girls are your enemies, trying to prevent you from getting where you're going, and inevitably aiming to end your life (once they've gotten off). If this premise disturbs you, you should probably stop reading, and definitely avoid playing Eroico, which should be pretty easy since you can adjust your Steam settings to block adult content like this.



Recognize that the game is made with young male gamers in mind, for whom the idea of being straddled while helpless is a fantasy. Recognize also, that the whole 'rape thing' is ostensibly mitigated by the fact that our hero, once engaged, seems a willing participant. That said, would this game work if the genders were swapped?

Absolutely not.

To that end, here's what the developers say: Female characters in the game are capable of forcefully engaging in sex with the male, player-controlled protagonist. There are no sexual acts against female characters initiated by the player.

Emphasis mine. And so they're not swapped.

They are what they are: a virile male adventurer who is lusted after by a score of monster-girl archetypes like the succubus, and the werewolf, and the dryad (they're tree girls, and they're green: take that Captain Kirk). They dominate us despite our best efforts (ha!) not to be stunned in the first place, but once stunned, we are happily complicit. It'd all be a hot roleplay were it not for the dying part.

Entanglements are almost assured, because Eroico is so damn hard. Any given monster-girl moves fast and can take a shot (or two!) to put down. This means you'll probably get a hit in, but she'll take your best shot, absorb it and get to stunning you. Then, she most assuredly will mount you, and rape you. You will sit or lie there frozen stiff as she bounces on your member until impossibly copious amounts of semen splash over her ass and your lap in multiple liquid pulses. (And when you think it's over, there'll be one final, cloudy white belch.)

You'll pound on the attack button once stunned (in theory) to see if you're fast enough to un-stun and avoid the rape. If not, you can at least tap the button enough mid-coitus to move the needle on the rape-meter past halfway, ensuring you can exit the forced straddle before she has another go. Tap it too slowly, and she'll remain on top for a second round.



This is all admittedly an overwhelmingly eye-catching, pervy novelty the first few (hundred? Your mileage may vary) times per enemy. But once you've seen what that particular monster-girl has to offer, the rapes will start to annoy you, and you'll do everything in your power to avoid them.

This is, in a nutshell, how the game is played: Start a level, engage that level's new girls early on, then push through to the boss once they've had your fill. There are only three levels, but they are long, hard affairs, even on the easy difficulty. You can melee, as well as use long distance attacks which are attached to a limited meter. Naturally, lancing the girls from afar is the safest approach, but you run out of juice all too soon. There are power ups to restore both health and that attack meter, to help soften the blow, but it's really the swinging scythes, and the spikes over which you often must zip from special launcher to launcher, that can make life miserable.

All in all, if you have an appetite for the curiosity that is this punishing little platformer with pixel-porn scenes playing out right there on the game field, you could do worse for a double dose of hack and slash-cum-bump and grind action. Eroico's greatest weaknesses are probably the lack of variety in its rote environs, and the shortness of the adventure. Its greatest strength is that it actually pairs its fan service with challenging but fair gameplay, and there aren't a load of games that do both.

3/5

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (April 05, 2019)

There was a bio here once. It's gone now.

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Feedback

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honestgamer posted April 08, 2019:

This is a great review that makes the most of the lurid subject matter, describes the mechanics with careful attention to the most salient points, points out objections one might have to the explicit themes and leaves me feeling comfortable probably never buying the game in question. Great stuff!
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Masters posted April 08, 2019:

Thanks, dude. There's stuff I'd rather not even have talked about, but I knew I needed to. Things you have to cover, but not in a way that seems like you're being dismissive, and also not at length. Also, I tried to set a record for punny innuendo. But mostly I'm proud of the review because it exists: I hadn't written anything since 2018.
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overdrive posted April 08, 2019:

I must say that simply reading this review and finding that a game like this exists satisfies my "learn something new every day" creed. Mainly because, while I know there are lots of porn games out there, the concept of one of them being a rape platformer where forced sex is a gameplay mechanic is the sort of "that sounds really, really weird" thing that makes me wonder if I'm actually reading a real review or if I'm asleep and having a really vivid dream that I'm able to interact with to the degree that I can type out messages while in it.
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Masters posted April 08, 2019:

Oh it's real! It's damn real. I think if we were dreaming, we'd dream up a better game.
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hastypixels posted April 09, 2019:

Japan's rape fetish is one of the more inexplicable aspects of their culture. What little I understand of it suggests that it originates from the feudal era and all of the terrible violence involved. It is in a word "incompatible" with our own culture, and I don't hesitate to call it wrong instead of being a "cultural difference".

Not an easy subject matter to broach, and unwise to ignore. So uh, thanks? No seriously, it's good to be reading your work.
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Masters posted April 09, 2019:

I'm glad you... liked it? I hear what you're saying, but I think this game is less about rape than it is about the male fantasy of being dominated.
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honestgamer posted April 09, 2019:

Just so you know, hasty, I looked around and the developer seems to not be based in Canada and not Japan. From the stuff Masters describes in his excellent review, I'm inclined to agree with his assessment that the game is designed to address the fantasy some men have of being dominated by a powerful woman. Not really my thing, but I've been on the internet long enough to know it gets some guys excited and they're probably the target audience. If the game were instead about preying mantis adventurers on their way to a fatal orgy, would anyone even bat an eye? Probably, but they would bat the eye less passionately, I suspect.
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EmP posted April 10, 2019:

Trying to muscle in on my pun game, but can't find room for PlatPorner or Hack & Splash. You're good, my Canadian friend, but you're no crowned Price of Pun yet.

Interesting first review for a new comeback tour. Zipped through it -- good stuffs.
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hastypixels posted April 10, 2019:

@Jason, Masters - Fair point. I'll leave that it where it lays.

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