As my quest began and I gazed around the village which my character had called home for years and is obviously going to get destroyed I saw a great many beautiful women. None of them interested me though. One of them has a penis and until I know who none can be trusted.
Seeds of Chaos, the in development game by Lord Arioch had me excited when I first saw it. The art looked amazing, the idea of playing as a villain sounded fun and interesting, and it made it clear from the get go that content like NTR and futa is completely optional. Unfortunately, as I would soon find out Seeds of Chaos isn’t the game I expected it to be.
The game starts with your character and his loving and loyal wife living peaceful and happy lives in a quiet little town. Right away I can see problems. The dialogue seems stilted and weird. The writer seems to have a pathological fear of contractions and you’ll end up with janky sounding phrases that sound like “I can not believe you will not eat this food because it is not warm“. At first I chalked this up to the author attempting to emulate a high fantasy “ye olde” dialogue but the addition of modern terms like “hubby” and “slut” make even that hard to swallow. In the game’s defense they do seem to write more naturally as the game progresses but it certainly left me with a sour taste right at the start.
Another issue that can bring you out of the experience is the character portraits. Luckily this game, unlike others such as LOQA, has a consistent art style but at the same time the dev team seemed to decide that instead of having to draw multiple expressions for varying emotions they would instead draw maybe 2 different very general expressions and then have the character’s mouths and eyelids flap to try and make them seem more alive. Unfortunately the problem with having a character blink while I’m trying to read a dialogue box gives the effect of them just standing around doing nothing as opposed to a freeze frame of what they looked like when they were talking.
After your peaceful village gets destroyed by demons (because of course it is) and your wife kidnapped (because of course she is) our hero embarks on an epic 4 month quest to the site of his greatest victory in the previous war to meet with the demons and get her back. Of course we aren’t shown this epic journey but the main character said it was exciting so we’ll just have to take his word for it.
After you arrive at the castle you’re thrown into a dungeon where you wait while Big Red tries to bang your wife. At this point you’re given the option to disable NTR content. Being the big strong man I am I disabled it so instead of banging my protagonist’s wife Big Red just nearly bangs her. She doesn’t even say no, he just gets an important business call from his broker or something and has to peace out.
Fast forward a bit and you’re taken out of the dungeon and given a few options. You can either agree to join the demons for one of 4 reasons or say no and get an instant game over. Of course whichever reason you choose only determines what your character says right after that and not anything else in the game.
After joining the demons (as a slave) and getting reunited with your wife (also a slave) you set out on an epic quest (slave quest) to take over the world (for the people who fucked you over)…see the problem here? The game has very clearly made it so I’m not supposed to like the people I’m working for. The main character doesn’t like them either. Problem is that there’s no gameplay or story elements revolving around undermining them. Attempting to sabotage their armies or refuse to complete objectives results in the game wagging it’s finger at you and giving you a game over. It feels like the game is going out of it’s way to motivate you to not want to play.
Alright, you may not be motivated to succeed but surely the gameplay is satisfying, right? Not really. The game consists of you navigating a hex based world map so you can bump into random events that will play out based on skill rolls, choosing which buildings to build and technology to research, and making “important” decisions like whether or not to let that Minotaur pound your asshole. All of these events occur on a weekly timeline.
Your 5 base stats; strength, vitality, reflexes, intelligence, and luck, can be increased by buying armor and items to equip, armor and items you can’t afford. See, maybe I missed something but I found the money making process extremely slow. As far as I could tell the only way to increase your weekly gain is to build a tavern and research trade caravans. Both of which I did and I still needed to donate my personal funds to the treasury to be able to meet my deadlines, personal money I wanted to spend on gear. Because of this I never ended up buying a single item during my time playing. Despite this I was able to do fairly well in some of the skill checks. Unfortunately the game is extremely heavy on skill checks and low on skill. This isn’t a problem when you have a dm to make sure your game can’t be ruined by a series of bad rolls but without one there’s little to mitigate the sting from getting a game over due to a series of rolling 2s on really crucial things.
So far all of the potential building and research options feel laughably linear or don’t ever come into play because the game hasn’t been developed far enough to let them actually do anything. Why would I research something that allows me to build a level 2 barracks when there isn’t enough time to do that before the game ends? Furthermore the entire military system is almost completely useless. You can use the soldiers you recruit monthly on a few of the overworld random events (sending 5 soldiers to go mine iron is one of the only ones that pops up) or, and this is what the monster breeding, armory, mining, and succubus lair exist for, capturing towns. I was able to find exactly one town to use my military on, and this is the town that the game needs you to capture for the story to progress. Capturing a town just consists of getting a big army number. Choose an amount of orcs or monsters to send and fight. Better equipped orcs and monsters are worth more points. Do you have a chance of failure? Do these units die? Is there a reason to have an army any bigger than the minimum? Nope, if you match the army value of the town you capture it. That’s it. The game is filled with mechanics that do and mean nothing. Why do I have different stats for bluff and deceive? This last event mentioned the animals I hunted being enough to feed the castle for a few weeks. Do we have a food counter? Is this just taken out of my budget? If so can I see how much I’m saving? Why do my troops have a moral meter if even when I went out of my way to make them unhappy I couldn’t get it below 80%? It feels like the dev is just throwing in mechanics without deciding or explaining how they’ll actually affect gameplay.
The game also has a serious problem with telling you what your choices actually mean. For example, at one point I had to choose between letting construction continue and bother my scientist or delay the construction so they can focus. Clearly this is a choice between progressing on research or construction but how big is the effect? Can I look at my current progress on the two before making my decision? Will this choice effect how much my builder dwarf and science chick like me? Does the game even have a relationship system? None of this is told to you.
“Alright, alright, alright” you might say. “What if I don’t care about gameplay and mechanics? This is a porn game. How’s the porn?” Well, my first suggestion would be to just extract out the art and skip the game part of the game but if you insisted on playing I would inform you the porn is good if not somewhat scattered.
See, Arioch is trying to appeal to all orientations and kinks which means what content there is feels like it’s spread somewhat thin trying to cover all bases. Luckily nothing outside of the super vanilla is mandatory. Don’t want to let that Minotaur fuck your asshole? He’s actually a pretty cool dude but nothing’s forcing you to do it. Honestly when choosing between 5 different ways to experience a story and a story with 5 times more content you don’t really win no matter what you pick.
For someone who claims to have extensive product managing experience Lord Arioch seems to be making a lot of mistakes. Why are you commissioning expensive concept art instead of paying someone to replace the current white placeholder item sprites? What is “Kassandra Leigh’s fairy photoshoot” and why did you pay for it if it isn’t in the game? Most of all, why does an “experienced project manager” not know that whether you’re in a corporate environment, shooting for personal goals, or setting up a patreon, having extensive stretch goals promising massive amounts of additional results is always a bad idea and leads to a lack of focus on the original goals.
What’s my final verdict? Seeds of Chaos is a pretty good series of sex scenes with nicely done art (at least the non cuck ones I saw) but It’s hampered as a game by a large amount of nonfunctional, unexplained, and unnecessary game mechanics. What Lord Arioch needs to do is stop buying more artwork and photoshoots, sit down, and decide how he’s going to make a game for his porn game. While more game mechanics can make for a lot of fun dumping 3 gallons of random game mechanic sauce all over a choose your own adventure book and then trying to fix it by adding more pretty pictures just leaves you with a worse off game and worse off porn. And a soggy book.
Download here http://seeds-of-chaos.com/