Hobby demon Cortyn has a new favorite game involving succubus. They are exploited there to the letter and then executed.
“Hey Cortyn, I found you another game!”
“You know how big my pile of shame is.”
“It has succubi, it’s dramatic, and it’s pretty dark.”
Yes, sometimes you get my attention quite quickly and slowly my friends also know what to lure me with. After all, my last experience playing a succubus game was the most disturbing gaming experience I’ve ever had.
But because the trailer of “My Lovely Wife” immediately captivated me, I gave the game a chance.
Let me put it this way: that was a pretty wild ride. ambiguity intended.
But let’s start at the beginning and start with the trigger warning, which also applies to the game:
A dead woman and the use of essence of lust
“My Lovely Wife” starts out quite calm and simple. You play as Jake, who has been hired as a private tutor for a young lady named Luna and will henceforth guide her life. He accompanies them to various courses, takes care of their etiquette and social obligations. Over the years, the two fall in love and ultimately decide to marry.
Because that would of course be much too simple, Luna is killed one day. The exact circumstances of her death are not explained, but Jake is thrown into a hole. Luna was the love of his life and without her he simply cannot imagine a future.
In the midst of his grief, Jake is then visited by a neatly dressed man who reveals to him that he is working on a solution to his problem: resuscitation. He himself would pursue a very similar goal and needs Jake’s help.
In order to enable Luna’s revival, Jake must collect large amounts of “Carnal Essence” – a little more directly in German “Lustessenz”. It is in every human being, but unfortunately it is so incredibly difficult to extract.
But the stranger has a solution for that too: we simply have to summon a succubus that will harvest the essence of pleasure for us. And, of course, being farsighted as this guy is, he also brought us some demon summoning materials.
Jake struggles a bit, but ultimately decides to go for it. After all, he wants to be reunited with his Luna. Demons may be spooky, and exploiting them feels wrong, but don’t succubi gather lust essence all day anyway? So they’re just doing what they would do anyway.
Succubus Manager or “Woman Exploitation: The Game”
This is where the typical gameplay loop begins. A new day begins and I must decide how to use my summoned succubus.
- As you’ve probably already guessed, I can simply send them to the brothel and let them work there. She collects essence of pleasure while earning some gold coins for me.
- Alternatively, I can also send them to the hotel to appear there at “special performances” and to convince them with other arts. She collects significantly less lust essence, but much more gold.
- If she has collected enough essence of pleasure, I can also send her to the mysterious guy who will extract the essence from her and thus advance the research.
If I’m not satisfied with the performance of my succubus, I can first increase their abilities and again have several options:
- In the “Charm School” I can teach my demon more etiquette and thus increase its charm value. The value determines how good she is at various performances and thus how much gold she earns in the brothel or the hotel.
- Alternatively, I send the succubus to the “Akademie Noire” for very special courses, which increases their flair value. Flair determines how much Pleasure Essence the succubus can accumulate from various activities.
With the gold I earn, I can expand Jake’s apartment so that he can house more succubuses at once – or I can buy expensive summoning materials to summon other succubus species with better stats.
It doesn’t take long before I manage the day of 5 Succubi at the same time, all of whom I assign different tasks. While I have Ida and Marie collect lust essence in the brothel, I send Louise to the hotel to rake in gold for me. I send Mollie and Maude both to the different schools so that their charm and flair value increases and they can soon be of help to the others.
Succubi as dating material
Up to this point, My Lovely Wife is “just” a kind of wacky simulator game in which I manage my “troop of heroes” in the form of various succubi and plan their daily routine. Sometimes there are small pop-ups and events, like a special incident in the hotel or one of my demons gets a new perk – positive as well as negative.
But now there is also a dash of dating sim. As is usually the case with typical visual novels, I can also have conversations with the succubi and visit them at home in their rooms. I ask them about their day, listen to their stories or let them insult me because that’s just their thing. After all, they want to go home quickly to their beloved master, the king of demons.
Every day there’s a little more story, a dialogue or two more – and then a barrier.
Because suddenly Jake can’t think of any words. He can no longer respond to what the demons say and the possible answers are greyed out.
Of course, that’s exactly when the mysterious guy comes by and asks me exactly about it. “Mr. Jake, have you ever noticed how sometimes people have a hard time talking to demons and giving back something?” Yes, thank you. I noticed.
But there is a solution for that too. I must extract the pleasure essence accumulated in the succubus and use it for myself. And how do you do that? You guessed it: Kill the demon with a ritual stab in the heart.
The accumulated essence then goes to Jake and serves as a kind of experience points that I can put into talents. Talents not only enable more possible answers, but also increase the maximum pleasure essence of newly summoned succubi, their income in hotels and brothels, or the rate at which they learn new things in schools.
As if that weren’t dark enough, they tell me even more. I can get significantly more essence and even rare summoning materials from killing if I make the succubus love me beforehand. If I even manage to get the succubus to want to stay by my side forever, killing me gets an additional bonus.
Now, at the latest, “My Lovely Wife” has reached a point that poses really oppressive questions. It’s become some sinister mix of Jake trying by all means to get the love of his life back and Jake exploiting Succubi in the worst “pick-up artist” manner and then dumping them when they get involved with him .
My views become darker and more efficient. I notice the following thoughts running through my head:
Today I’m sending Mollie to S&M classes at the Akademie Noire, then tomorrow I’m pumping her full of lust essence in the brothel, before showering her with presents in the park the day after tomorrow and then making love to her the day after to kill her and improve my talents.
However, this in turn triggers a vicious circle. Because of the new talents, Jake is also better at summoning, which means that future succubi can achieve much higher charm and flair values than the currently summoned demons. If you just stabbed Mollie in order to finally be able to talk to your adored Louise, overnight Louise has become totally unimportant from an economic point of view because her values are so low that they cannot keep up with the new demons – and so it takes time It’s only three more days until she too has the dagger stuck in her heart and the cycle begins again.
Little anecdote on the side: when I wanted to take a screenshot of the killing, the game automatically saved immediately and I killed my most beloved succubus, which I wanted to keep until the end.
Dark fun that shouldn’t be thought about for too long – but it does
Honestly, you shouldn’t think too long about what you’re actually doing there. Because it would be easy to just label the game as Exploitation of Women: The Game or see it as every incel forum’s dream come true.
But it’s not that easy, at least not for me. Because no matter how bleak the decisions are, they are still difficult for me. Every time I see the animation of Jake again destroying a heart with his ritual dagger, it makes me uneasy. Every time the name tag on the room changes from “Lyneth”, “Ida” or “Bettevere” to “Blank”, it feels like I’ve lost something that I can’t get back.
And I like that. My Lovely Wife forces you to make ugly decisions. It forces cruel efficiency and seeing the succubi as tools rather than sentient characters in their own right – while offering dialogue with them that suggests just the opposite.
I love it. The game isn’t perfect, and a few more detailed drawings, animations, or a change in the sound effects would certainly have done the game some good and rounded out the experience a bit.
In addition, I was only able to go into some of the possibilities here. Because there is also the option to really love a demon – and choose that succubus instead of Luna and bring the game to an end. Or arrange for a succubus to be transformed into a human through true love, then take her body as a vessel for Luna’s soul and snuff out the demon. There are many options. And all of them are dark.
For just under €15 on Steam, My Lovely Wife really got me hooked and gave me a ton of interesting hours full of dilemmas and gruesome decisions – along with 20 depictions of succubi with their little quirks and entertaining dialogue.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, Mollie needs a box of chocolates before I cut them off so I can talk to Louise again…