I wouldn’t class myself as a prude — a lot of the words that come out of my mouth would have to contain asterisks on a Channel 4 documentary. I thought Ladykiller in a Bind, a game that centres on a group of 18 year olds that are trying to ride each other at every possible moment over the course of a week, would be right up my street. I wasn’t expecting how explicit things would get.
For some context: in the game I was on my brother’s school tour, which just so happened to be a cruise heading from the US to Southampton — while I didn’t see any jerseys, I can only assume they were heading to St. Mary’s to cheer on the Saints or witness Matt Le Tissier open a Sainsbury’s.
It was a whirlwind day as I discovered loads about what exactly was happening on this elaborate cruise liner: everyone was playing this Big Brother style game (minus Davina McCall) where they had to curry favour to gain the votes of their fellow passengers; despite being an 18 year old girl called The Hero, I was pretending to be my brother because of a plot point that would be revealed later in the game; like a GTA Wanted level, I had a suspicion metre gauging whether my faux-classmates believed my lies; and every last teenager on the boat was either fucking everyone else, or wanted to fuck everyone else.
Earlier on in the day I’d been chatting up two different girls — one nerdy, unsure of herself dweeb who wore manky shorts called The Hacker; and this other confident, sultry one named The Princess, who also had the ability to remove all suspicion that other people on the ship had about my real identity if I’d spend the night with her. Even though I wasn’t entirely sure where she learned that skill — maybe she was a witch, or a politician — I was willing to take my chances and chose to spend the night in her room when presented with the option of both girls.
Here we join proceedings as Colm, playing The Hero, is entering the bedroom of The Princess.
Upon entering The Princess’ room, I notice I’m in a concering situation as I see she’s already boozing and not the legal age to drink alcohol in America, but I can let this slide, mainly because there isn’t a dialogue option to reprimand this behaviour. Instead, I decide to go down the flirty route and we begin to speak in riddles, the next statement more coy than the last.
There’s some small talk about my first day on this extravagant field trip before she lets the cat out of the bag and tells me she’s aware I’m not my brother. Things start to get really weird and we begin to chat about my sibling rather than do the nasty, which is totes awks. I steamroll through the bro chatter and pull out the classic, “sit on my lap and I’ll tell you about a proposition that I have for you,” line that I’m sure I’ve seen on Ibiza Uncovered.
Rudely, The Princess ignores my A-game banter and again asks me how my day was, feigning worry about my well-being. The boring small talk does get a little exciting when she mentions the Derren Brown mind tricks that she uses on people to remove all suspicion about The Hero — but it comes at a price… a sexy price.
The price of sex.
As if butter wouldn’t melt, The Princess tells me she’s thinking about planting a smacker on my lips and I make sure to let her know that I’m eager to get to the good stuff. As I said, I’m no prude — I remember what Living TV used to air, late at night. Thankfully, The Hero and The Princess then start shifting like a 1998 Nissan Micra, going up the gears at an alarming rate. It’s sensual, loving and considerate. While I’m being swept away in the romance, things become a tad sinister as The Princess begins to reveal her sadomasochistic tendencies.
If I let her tie me up and give her carte blanche to do whatever she likes, all suspicion I’ve garnered on day one is removed and I start afresh tomorrow. ‘Brilliant,’ I thought, ‘It’s a win-win’. The Princess mentioned something about a safeword and told The Hero to stop if things got uncomfortable, which makes me question how far the game is going to go, but regardless, I was still on the bus to Sexy Town, Fuckville, Shag City and other place names that insinuate things are going to get nasty in the nicest w-
Hang on, I’m in the nip and she’s just flaked me in the face. What’s going on here?
They’re perky AND they hang? Unfortunate.
Grope her gently?! Things are taking a turn…
Fuck, she’s undercover. It’s a sting.
Maybe she isn’t a copper, after all.
Eh…right…I’m not entirely sure where to look now.
Now I feel like a perv creeping on a couple’s private conversation about something I don’t understand like Dungeons & Dragons or dark chocolate.
Oh holy, mother of sweet divine, lord and saviour, Christ almighty!
Maybe I am a bit of prude because Ladykiller in a Bind definitely caught me off guard with how raunchy it was. I guess I was expecting a certain level of filth and got an awful lot more. These nightly romps lose their impact as the days go by, but that initial evening of passion is the type of ballsiness (minus the actual balls, on this occasion) that video games need more. I want to feel challenged and for my pre-conceived notions to be thrown out the window, and Ladykiller in a Bind certainly did that.
Editor’s note: Colm was raised Catholic.