When Ariane Barnes messaged to the Shark's Lagoon forum that a beta version of Something's In The Air (SITA) could be exclusively downloaded it hit 140 downloads in the first hour. It shows how the game was anticipated in the adult gameplaying world.
The overall impression is that the game is graphically splendid. To quote Blaman:
The models are amazing! Faces, lighting, skin tones - easily the best work I've seen in visual dates!
Of course there are some huge differences with the first ArianeB game, including a new look for Ariane herself. Personally I'm still getting used to it having spend so many years with Ariane v1. Also the gameplay and download size has changed, this version runs with an executable (different downloads for Windows, Mac and Linux) and counts about 200 MB, mainly because the images are now bigger than before.
There are 40 different situations to be found. Ariane Barnes:
There are indeed 40:
11 involving Ariane,
19 involving Rachel,
1 involving Stacy,
3 involving Wendy,
2 involving Bonnie,
1 involving Veronica, and
3 involving Paula.
At least 4 of these endings are only reachable by picking different prequel settings in the Options screen.
This means that this is not an Ariane Dating game as such, but that a certain Rachel and a bunch of others have taken over the torch.
Although it isn't really good news for this blog (that has the most elaborate set of walkthroughs for the first ArianeB game) the prequel score doesn't need to filled in as such. The option screen has several 'predefined' prequel option buttons that can be activated and that will trigger the events in SITA. It is a nice way and much more user-friendly than having to fill in a hexadecimal code (like '480d0' the code for: Mailbox Check) each time. A nice touch is that Ariane will indeed tell you what happened on the previous date, using some images from the first version.
So far the most common reproach to this adult game is... the lack of sex. The sex scenes are there and they are all very stylish and erotic, but some gamers have been screaming for more explicit, read: hardcore, scenes, as a kind of present after hours of searching and clicking. Ariane Barnes reacts as follows:
Ultimately, it is all a balancing act. Where do I draw the line, and all artists have a line to draw. I considered all my options and what my potential audience may like and enjoy and a little more "hard core" scenes would probably boost the audience a little bit. Then I started thinking that I might get a more mainstream audience if I kept it tame, because the sex should not take away the story, and how will it affect my reputation as an artist and storyteller.
One can indeed say that this second installment of the Ariane series is more adult than the previous one, adult in the meaning of more mature. And for the fans of nudity there are of course many situations where pixelated women get out of their clothes.
Shark's Lagoon SITA thread
Over at Shark's Lagoon players are asking questions, sharing hints and giving their opinion on the game. So far Ariane Barnes has already promised that the 'official' 1.0 release of the game will have a more elaborate achievement system:
Not just for getting to the various endings, but things like: doing everything at the amusement park, seeing all the magazine articles, seeing all the movies, seeing each character naked for the first time, and all the characters naked at least once, etc. Have these achievements actually flash on the screen as they get accomplished so you can see when you get one.
And that there is still a future for the first Ariane dating adventure is assured as well. Ariane Barnes:
I'm planning to convert Date Ariane to Renpy. To save memory, I will mostly use menus, but there are obvious places in the Date Ariane game (the mini games, the make out scenes) that MUST use mouse over events. Hopefully I can keep that project under 200 MB as well.
We can hardly wait, but first let's enjoy Something's In The Air, it will be a hot summer.
Something's In The Air can be downloaded and played for free, without restrictions, but Ariane Barnes isn't refusing donations... be a sport and donate the sum of 5$, not even the price of a decent hamburger.
For 40 dates with 7 different women this is ridiculously cheap. And the waiting has been worthwhile.
Tags: 20. SITA