Let's get one thing cleared up right out of the gates: Lula 3D (developed by CDV Software) is actually a game. It's not porn (despite what the lurid cover promises)- it's actually an honest-to-God adventure game. That's not to say that it's a good game (in fact, I think it's safe to say that it's bloody awful), but there is indeed a user interface, an inventory, characters to talk to (well, sort of) and a mystery to sort out.
What’s that she’s about to drink? I’m rooting for Drain-O.
The plot is actually a wee bit deeper than your average porno. Seems as if Lula is a big time adult film producer and she has a problem: her stars, actresses known only as "the Triplets" have gone missing! Lula is very worried because, you know, adult film stars are so dependable and all. She gets the wacky idea in her head that hey, maybe someone kidnapped the Triplets for their own nefarious purposes. Not that Lula would know what "nefarious" means. Or even know how to pronounce it.
But I digress.
Long story short- Lula 3D is just terrible. It's a complete waste of time. People that purchase Lula because they think it might be a porn simulator (possibly because of the promise of "Bouncin' Boobs Technology" on the front cover) will be left limp and disappointed, because it's actually kind of hard… erm, I mean, difficult, to get Lula to have sex with anyone. You'd think the character would have a huge, red "Do Me Now!" button tattooed on her buttocks, one that the player could click any time she was in proximity to another character- such a feature would have lead to some amusing encounters. Alas, Lula needs to be put "in the mood" before she shares her improbable, gravity-defying charms with anyone, a task that the programmers only seem to have scripted in a few times.
Watching Lula squat to pick stuff up is just about the only good thing about this game…
Likewise, players that decide to take a chance on Lula 3D because they think that maybe, just maybe, the game's would deliver on its promise of a "tantalizing storyline" will be left cold. The plot (such as it is) advances via talking to the same few characters over and over and over, until they give you the information or item you require. Often, the characters' stories change illogically when you return and talk to them again ("Oh, why yes, I do seem to have your car keys in my pocket- how could I have forgotten that?" ). It's brain dead, cheap and just plain annoying.
Bottom line… if you have $20 burning a hole in your pocket and find yourself all alone on a Saturday night, spend the money on a nice bottle of wine and download some actual porn off the web (for free, even). If you decide to try it anyway, well, then, don't say we didn't warn you.
I couldn't have said it better, myself…
Gameplay- 1 Wretched dialogue… illogical "quests" that progress via talking to the same idiots over and over… distastefully stupid and/or amoral characters that make you feel unclean after speaking with them… what's not to love? If the developers had just allowed Lula to jump in the sack (or the car… or the hot tub… or the picnic table… or on top of the refrigerator…) with anyone and everyone, at least the game would have had something approaching porn-appeal.
Graphics- 3 The game's presented in full 3D, I'll grant you that, but it really shouldn't have been. Honestly, the concept art that they show, slideshow-style, in the closing credits was ten times more interesting than the blocky, ugly 3D characters and locales you have to stare at. I've said this before and I'll say it again- when coding an Adventure game on a shoe-string, save your money on a 3D engine and spend that money on two or three good Photoshop artists instead, and do the whole thing in 2D- the graphics will be loads more engaging and have more of a soul than this claptrap. Seriously- if the concept art guy had done every location and character as old-fashioned raster graphics, this score would have soared. Quake needs to be in 3D. F.E.A.R. needs to be in 3D. This sort of thing does not, and poorly done 3D is just painful to look at.
Sound- 3 Every line of dialogue is recorded, which is a plus, and the actors mostly pronounce all the words right (something that most other European-produced Adventure games can't boast). But, like usually happens, confusing sound FX, annoying music loops and some really hideous character voices had me muting the game volume in the first hour or two.
Value- 1 Go download free porn and save your money. I spent about four hours on Lula before I finally just uninstalled it and boiled my hard drive in rubbing alcohol to disinfect it. After those four hours, I felt that they should have been paying me to play Lula 3D.
Curve- 2 Any product that comes off the worse in a comparison to freely available porn simply should not be sold. We understand that games like this do serve a purpose, namely giving new developers, programmers, artists and writers a chance to show their stuff and develop their skills, and individually, there are some interesting things in this game, the sort of thing that can and should be in someone's personal portfolios. Unfortunately, when taken as a whole, Lula 3D is just terrible. We always feel bad when we have to slam some poor development team's hard work, but we have to call them like we see them, sorry. Better luck next time.