Updated: May 10
Game: HealSlut -> Game Page
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android
Genre: Visual Novel
Reviewed by: Soniram
Davie Zwei's Healslut has been in my list of "Games I Should Try" pretty much from the first time I stumbled into adult gaming. Like most of you, I have several tags that I like to have in games and damned if Healslut didn't have pretty much all of them.
THIS IS ONE OF THE FIRST GAMES WHERE I CONGRATULATED MYSELF ON MAKING SAVES
However, it sat in my list, un-downloaded and unplayed for about eight months before I finally decided to give it a whirl. The reason it did was two-fold. First, I have a hard time getting into a game when the main character is female. That's just me, and I can only shrug my shoulders and apologize. It's just not my thing. Second, I had gotten a little burned with a couple of games that looked similar and were completely grind-fests, and I just wasn't up for another one.
Well, fuck me, because when I finally decided to give Healslut a ride, it wasn't anything close to what I thought it might be. Let this be a lesson to me and anyone that has the same kinds of hangups that I do: just play the damned game.
There are a few games out there that score pretty high on the "WTF-ness Scale," and you have to give good marks to Davie Zwei. Anyone can try and put jokes and humor into games. It's not easy to craft a tale that oozes humor and tongue-in-cheekiness without going overboard. Healslut tries to do this, and some parts are laugh-out-loud funny, and quite a few that cause a chuckle or a guffaw, but it seems to sometimes get in the way. The humor reminds me a lot of Red vs. Blue, coming out of the characters and being played across the straight-man, in this case, the main character.
If it was just humor and sex, Healslut would be mired in the heap of C-list games I've got somewhere on my D drive. But then, Davie Zwei throws in a few heapings of replayability along with an impressive amount of fetish tags to appeal to a large audience. The structure and intricacies in this creation are quite good, but they are also subtle. Choices matter, can redirect large sections of the game, open or block a lot of fetishes, and can be felt long after the choice has actually been made. This is one of the first games where I congratulated myself on making saves at what seemed like really important decisions. I, uh, also had to use the walkthrough... a lot.
Back to the "WTF-ness" thing. The story is quirky and unique but also layered with a great amount of stuff going on behind the scenes with pretty much every character. NPCs in any type of game have their own backstory, fears, desires, friendships, and enemies. The really great ones are believable and well-written. I'm actually jealous of the creativeness Davie Zwei put into the banter between everyone based on their personalities. Round of applause.
I did another review a little while back about a game that had the best replayability I had ever seen, but Healslut deserves some props in this. It may not have a massive amount of endings, but it sure has a lot of different content depending on some heavy decisions the player has to make. Combine that with all the different characters and possible scenes you can see, and not only did I want to go back and see how things worked out, but I also wanted to know how everything happened throughout. I congratulated myself on making all those saves... but then realized it was better to go back and start from the beginning each time.
I MEAN, WHAT THE FUCK, MAN?
Most of Healslut's detractors tend to rail about the lack of sex in the game. Admittedly, the premise of the game makes it seem like the main character, that is beta-testing for an online VR game, is going to be involved in a ton of sex. It's right there in the title -- Healslut. You are a healer because you are a slut. I went in with a lot of the same expectations, and... well, yeah. I was a bit disappointed in that regard.
But, you know, sex isn't the focus of the story. The humor and quirkiness of the whole concept are. The main character (gender chosen by the player), working as a beta-tester, gets thrown into hijinks, railroaded by random game bugs, thrown into a corporate takeover, and dragged like a collared dog by game developers with their own agendas. I mean, what the fuck, man? There's plenty of content (sexual and otherwise) to play this thing over and over again... and it's not even finished yet.
Let's talk about that (lack of) sexual content for a moment. Sexual content in games only works if it falls into one of two categories. Either it is just blow-your-mind-amazingly-holy-shit, or it has a note of realism. Realism isn't referring to how "real" it is to be a man playing a woman giving an orc female with a dick a throat-job, but rather how real it is to the story it's within. Healslut works in this second way. So there isn't animation. Fine. So you only get some of the absolutely amazingly erotic renders each time you play through the game. Boo-hoo.
The only thing I can really nitpick about Healslut as a game is that it sometimes gets a little too long-winded with dialogue and I'm not a big fan of using sprites for the majority of the game. These are just personal preferences, though, and really don't have much of a place in a review. I just don't want to feel like I'm sucking Roopah's... I mean, Davie Zwei's cock too hard. I had no difficulty enjoying this game even though I'm not big on female protagonist games (though there's a ton of genderbending). While I'm not a big fan of sprites, there are some fantastic sprites here.
For now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back and try the female-female-trap protagonist story with choosing the other goblin, ignoring the loot girl, trying the other-other spell...
Just play the damned game.
[STORY]: Twisty without being confusing, and good continuity. Varry nice-uh. 17/22.
[VISUALS]: For what it has, it's done well. 16/22.
[GAMEPLAY]: Interesting and difficult without punishment. Very good replayability. 17/22.
[ADULT CONTENT]: It's going to be hit or miss with most people, like it was with me. 15/22.
[SONIRAM LIKEY?]: Yep. It surprised me, no doubt. 9/12.
[VERDICT]: I'll let you know when I'm done... (this means it's worth playing, guys).