Ladykiller In A Bind is a visual novel about lesbian sex taking place on a cruise ship. It's also a visual novel about consent and a various cast of characters living in an alternate universe where everyone can just be themselves without getting destroyed by the mockery of their peers. The concept of the game is interesting and you really want to see the story play out and the relationships are interesting. You also need to balance votes and suspicion and this allows for various objectives and multiple playthroughs. I really enjoyed it!

I was a bit unsure if I would enjoy Ladykiller In A Bind because - even after playing through the whole thing - there's something I dislike about the character's art style. It's probably just personal preference, but there's something too clean about their lines and features that make them look like strange. I'm also not a big visual novel fan, but I still felt that there would be something interesting in this game so I gave it a shot. After meeting a cast of characters that you name yourself - and you can rename if you mess up - you learn about the core concept of the plot; You're taking your twin brother's place on a cruise ship and you need to avoid revealing your identity. Since the main character is a woman instead of a guy, it's not that easy. 

You play most of the game by choosing people to spend time with. You get a summary of how many votes you can win (these help for some kind of meta game you're trying to win inside the game), potential suspicion (if you get too much, it's probably game over) and a difficulty rating (which I felt was a bit inscrutable). The more time you spend with the same person, the more your relationship deepens. The way you interact with people is interesting, since you can drag most discussions for a while before you are forced to make choices. You can answer the first thing that pops out, or you can wait to see where things go. It's a natural and interesting way to tackle that problem. Answer certain things and you'll get suspicion or votes. I appreciate that the game surfaces these numbers and you don't have to guess what will happen if you pick this or that option.

Nights are more about lesbian sex and you either pick The Beauty or The Stalker (I assume you can go back and forth between both of them) and while The Stalker can net you some votes, The Beauty removes your suspicion, which can help you get around that mechanic. On my playthrough I went with The Stalker, so I had to be careful not to get too suspicious otherwise. Your choices in dialogues influence decisions later on and we became quite stressed about our inability to reveal to The Stalker that we weren't The Prince after all because our suspicion grew too high. After seven days, the plot gets resolved and you get one of many endings. Then you see statistics about how you and other players acted!

The writing is excellent and there are some good sex scenes in there as well. Ladykiller In A Bind absolutely is my jam and I'm glad to have played it.

AuthorJérémie Tessier