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Tropical Liquor (PC) artwork

Tropical Liquor (PC) review

"HuniePop lite -- tastes great, less filling"

HuniePop didn’t quite set the world on its ear by meshing a pervy date sim with a puzzle game using a visual novel interface, but it was a uniquely blended dram which managed to champion a new genre of sorts where there wasn’t one before. And Tropical Liquor tries to copy it.

For the most part, Tropical Liquor is a competent clone, presenting a bevy of beauties for you to court at the all-inclusive resort of your dreams. You are at the resort for 30 days -- that’s a hell of a getaway, amirite? You must have held down your job for a good stretch to earn that kind of vacation time. Anyway, Naomi is the first girl you meet, and she is the kind-hearted tour guide/tutorial.

You can continue to pursue her heart once you’ve figured out how to play the game, or you can move onto someone you’ve really had your eye on instead. The game experience is very straightforward: there’s an AM and a PM with which to work, and in the daytime, you can work an entire day (apparently there are all kinds of odd jobs on offer for tourists that I was unaware of) and pull in money towards buying the girls gifts. Or, you could just work a half-day, and leave the evening free. I found that it’s best to work your tail off for the first few days and stack enough coin to pretty much purchase every gift available in the gift shop so that you’ve got everything on hand to win any given girl’s affection at any given time.

You spend the days out on walks with the apple of your eye, and generally get into little fights that are reminiscent of the types of squabbles kids in elementary school have -- only these girls are quite a bit older than that (I hope!), so their reactions to your advances are often curious to say the least. Each daytime interaction will reveal something about your current would-be conquest towards filling out an actual chart for her. Likes, dislikes, blood type, measurements -- you know, the usual notes you take when you’re chatting up some fine thing.

The first interaction will point us towards gift #1 for that girl (um, kind of). Buy it (or better still, you took my advice and you already have it), and bring it to the beach for the night’s activities. It's drinking game time! To kick off the first night of heavy boozing, you’ll need that gift as your in. Your girl said she likes kids, right? Hope you got her that baby bottle you saw earlier! That’s sure to earn you some points, right? Seems like a no-brainer, right?

With the gift-giving out of the way, it’s time to drink, which is code for, playing the boring and repetitive puzzle game that is the core of Tropical Liquor’s actual ‘game’ mechanics. Squares fashioned to look like ice cubes drop into the usual puzzle well, fashioned to look like a tumbler (cuz we’re drinking, get it?).

What follows is a game of classic concentration. We’re shown the colours of the cubes -- each cube has a partner by colour somewhere on the grid -- and then the colours are hidden and we have to pair them all up by memory. The tricky party is that once a match has been made, those two cubes disappear and the remaining cubes shift accordingly, so you’ve got to track their movements.

Make enough mistakes, and it’s game over for you. Your ‘tolerance’ is associated with your energy level, so if you haven’t been getting enough sleep and you’re properly run down, you won’t endure too many errors during game night. The girls have different levels of tolerance, so when you’re learning the game, it helps to choose an easy drunk as your first conquest (and yes, I realize how that sounds). If round one goes well, you’ll win a bikini show from your girl during the TAKE OFF interval. Round two is topless time, and round three is full nude, save a disconcerting band-aid over the girl’s genitals. (This all assumes you've employed the easy to find and install nude patch.)

Strangely enough, once you’ve seen your lady naked, you’ll win a proper date. Huh? Yeah. The next day your only option will be the DATE option. The date boils down to you spending some time poolside with her, while she lounges about and perhaps offers some more personal information for the creepy ‘file’ you have on her. Then she’ll get topless again, and you will, for some reason, completely freak out even though you were treated to all the goods the previous night.

It’s at this stage that, if your file is complete, you’ll need to go back to the gift shop to buy a special second gift for your girl. Now you can CONFESS to her, which involves meeting her at some clichéd romantic lookout spot, before consummating the relationship back in your room. There, mid-coitus, you’ll elicit all kinds of the usual dirty talk from your girl, as well as bizarre, laughable, tool-softening bits like this: My cervix and your dick are kissing each otheeerrrrr! Aagghahhhnr! Yup.

If Tropical Liquor is your kind of thing, and by now you’d know it, and if you were a fan of HuniePop, it mostly would be, temper your expectations based on these facts: the dialogue is often repeated and there are screens and screens of it. Your character is heavy on self-reflection; he extemporizes at length about his lack of courage and experience, all but calling himself a loser, only that would be better because he'd be getting to the point. Everyone goes on and on in this game.

But that’s not the worst thing: that's the game part of the equation, the puzzles themselves. And this is what really set HuniePop apart -- the puzzles were actually fun. Tropical Liquor’s drinking game is a bore, and a chore. I won’t call it a saving grace, but the one area where this game absolutely trumps the title it’s shamelessly patterned after are the visuals. The skin is detailed, shiny, and very hot. And that heightens the anticipation before the reveals and helps power you through the puzzley bits. And so this is the moment of truth: if you’ve seen the screenshots and you're lusting after this line up, you'll undoubtedly stick around for TAKE OFF and consummation. The lust will see you through what is an inferior shadow of HuniePop by any measure except one. Its power may start to wane by hour five, say, halfway through your options, but that's still a lot, considering. The lust is real. It’s why you’re here.

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (March 26, 2018)

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

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honestgamer posted March 26, 2018:

HuniePop had a nude patch, which was made widely available shortly after release (and by the developer, I think, as a way of getting around Steam censorship while still selling the game). I wonder if this game's developers will take a similar approach.

Anyway, I'm not sure there's a lot of room in my life for a clone of HuniePop. I thought HuniePop was quite good, but I was pretty much done with it when it ended. Thanks for letting me know this game exists, and what it's like. It sounds mostly like something I can safely skip, but it also sounds like a top candidate if I ever decide I want more action along the lines of HuniePop. You know, in the event that game doesn't first inspire a proper sequel.
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Masters posted March 27, 2018:

This game has a nude patch too. I'll update the review to clarify. Thanks for reading!
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EmP posted March 27, 2018:

World class tagline. It works on so many levels. Whoever thought that up is a genius.

Another very fine line: only these girls are quite a bit older than that (I hope!) There's actually a lot of good lines scattered throughout (the first gift mocking was also good work). You got a few chuckles out of me, and that's not easy. I hate everything; ask anyone.

Little know fact: Aagghahhhnr! is actually the warning cry of the Silky anteater.
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Masters posted March 27, 2018:

Ha, the tagline was gold, that's true. Glad you could get a few laughs out of the review. Time to inspect that passage you hated...

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