"DAMN VIRGINS" GIVES MORE PLEASURE THAN PAIN

A nonsensical game that will make you laugh

By Peter R. Clark   Travel Editor

“Damn virgins” is a well, it’s hard to explain. It’s a game, but it is also a short film. Akin to old Full Motion Video (FMV) games, this game, at its core, is a point-and-click adventure with FMV cutscenes thrown in every now and then. According to Steam, the developer and producer is Luis Ruiz. The game is entirely in Spanish, save for menus and subtitles. 

I was drawn to this game because I have always liked FMV games. I loved playing them when I was growing up in the 90s. Recently they seem to have resurfaced. Games like “Contradiction - Spot the Liar,” and “Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure” have paved the way to perhaps a new era of FMV adventure games. But I might be getting too far ahead of myself.

“Damn virgins” is a game with a plot that, while there, is very loose. You play as Xavi, one of the seven virgin college students, and you learn early on that an ancient Mayan ritual sacrifice must be completed on December 21 to appease the seven Mayan gods. If they are not appeased, something bad will happen. The bad thing is never really explained.

When the game begins, you get control of your character, Xavi. This is about where the whole idea of being part of a sacrifice ends. The character you play is a college student, and you have an important exam today. But you can’t leave your house. The door is locked.

In your room is a talking fish, Igor, who gives you a tutorial. You later find out that this fish is a “failed” experiment of Bernando, the geeky one in the group. All Igor does is eat, poop, sing, and talk about his love, Igorina.

Spread out through your bumbling around the house the gameplay stops and you are given a brief live-action scene. Some are about your friends taking the exam, and others cut to the dean of the school scheming and being prideful of his virgins. The rate at which these scenes come are abrupt, and at times, haphazard.

While this game is a point-and-click adventure, there aren’t any arbitrary puzzles with bizarre item combinations. Everything makes sense, and nothing seems out of place. Sometimes, though, you aren’t given enough direction to fully understand what you are supposed to be doing. I did laps around the house until I figured out that I had to press a button multiple times after Xavi said to not press the button again.

The majority of this game takes place in the house, but later you go to an island. The cave on the island can get annoying to traverse, because there is no map, but thankfully that section is very short. The game has two endings, solely dependant on one interaction with Igor. Other than that the game is about 3-4 hours long, including cutscenes. 

Design wise, this game is accessible and easy to understand. The interface is clean, and moving from room to room is also easy. My biggest complaint with the game, however, is that the entire game is not in FMV. I would like to play more games like “Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh,” where everything is FMV, but that probably wasn’t in the budget. The scenes we do get are enjoyable, at times funny, and fit with the overall theme.

Another problem I had with the game is the ending. The game starts with this whole thing about preventing the ritual from being performed, but ends in a way where none of that happens. The ending sort of leaves itself up for a sequel, but at the same time it doesn’t. Nothing is resolved, and somehow everyone is happy.

Overall, “Damn virgins” is a well-made game, with plot issues, and that’s about it. I don’t really have a reason to recommend this game to anyone, it’s short, nonsensical, and the only thing really going for it is the strong point-and-click adventure gameplay. If you are at all interested, the game is currently on Steam for $5. Have fun.

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