Armored Warrior Iris is an adult visual novel created by Black Lilith, a Japanese developer whose previous offerings include the aptly named Tentacle and Witches (a must own for anyone who appreciates tales of organic appendages that molest practitioners of magic.) The English language version of Armored Warrior Iris is presently available to buy from Dutch company Manga Gamer, who are selling a downloadable version on their website for the lump sum of $24.95. Is the hefty asking price worth it? Possibly… providing that smutty sci-fi yarns, which would make Barbarella blush, are your thing.
Set in the distant future – Armored Warrior Iris follows the adventures of the titular blonde bombshell, who happens to be a pilot in the Soviet Security Force’s predominately female Armored Warrior division (their sexually discriminatory employment practices will be their undoing should they ever be sent on a mission that requires parallel parking.) Iris and her elven partner Mei Li specialise in combating intergalactic crime, as evidenced in the novel’s prologue that sees the pair take down a corrupt politician (who strongly resembles the Trade Federation aliens from Star Wars.) George Lucas could sue Black Lilith for pilfering his character designs, but he probably won’t as doing so would reveal that he watches animated porn.
Although the above-mentioned operation goes without a hitch the same cannot be said for Iris’ next mission. Whilst patrolling on an outlaw world, Iris is ambushed by a group of slave traders who sell her off to the owner of a local brothel. Forced to service the establishment’s seedy clientele, by an extra-terrestrial who looks like the offspring of Jabba the Hut and a slug, Iris must find a way to escape from the torrent of abuse before it causes her to capitulate to depravity. The one small consolation about Iris’ plight is that Bozuk, the whorehouse’s benefactor, isn’t that bad of a guy… um gastropod. Sure he punishes disobedience with an electrified collar, but at least he gives readers the option of selecting which clients Iris will bed. Choose wisely, as your decisions will ultimately determine the heroine’s fate.
My rating for Armored Warrior Iris is a four out of five. Compared to other visual novels the writing is pretty good… although complimenting this type of game on its narrative is akin to praising Playboy for its articles. My score however comes with the caveat that the title will only appeal to a very specific niche. Your average gamer would award this visual novel a one star, either because the subject matter is offensive or because they find the concept of an erotic game ridiculous (ironically some of those naysayers may enjoy books like Fifty Shades of Grey.) At the end of the day though there is little point in assessing the game on the grounds of what a mainstream audience finds palatable, because Joe Public is unlikely to cough up $25 to sample the title in the first place.
Although a digital novel’s visuals cannot compete with the production values showcased in the four-episode Armored Warrior Iris anime adaptation, it does compare favourably with other hentai games I have seen (I only looked at those purely for research purposes of course.) The storyline is essentially no deeper than your average adult dojin, but the addition of sound effects, music and light interactive elements do enhance the reading experience. In total there are five finales to unlock, which include two happy endings and a trio of tragic conclusions. Be aware that consulting a guide may be required to view all the endings, as determining what answers lead to which resolution is tantamount to sussing out a safe’s combination.
In terms of titillation, Black Lilith’s script manages to cater to various fetishes. The customers Iris gets jiggy with vary from standard humanoids to more exotic aliens, which range from giant insects to anthropomorphic ducks. There are even scenes featuring body modification, were Iris has the size of her breasts augmented to the level of Chelsea Charms. Another example has Iris undergoing a medical procedure that transforms her into an underage girl. No matter how cute Lolita Iris is be sure to scrub your hard drive clean after finishing this game. Japan’s love of jailbait could land you in hot water with the authorities!