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Overview

Tender Loving Care is a full-motion video psychological-thriller adventure game developed by Aftermath Media and published by Digital Leisure for the PC (via both CD-ROM and DVD-ROM) in 1998. It was also released as an interactive DVD disc and later received enhanced digital ports (some of which are uncensored) for iOS devices (by Trilobyte on September 10, 2012) and the PC (by Nightdive on April 2017).

An interactive movie from part of the team behind The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour, the game plays a series of movie scenes inter-cut with psychological questions that the player takes (which can lead to alternate scenes and endings) to profile their psyche. Players also explore a series of pre-rendered scenes (with bonus full-motion video scenes) that lead to further insight into the story, and can optionally watch the entire "canon" cut of the movie with no gameplay whatsoever.

The game's story follows Michael Overton, whose wife Allison is traumatized by the tragic death of their daughter Jodi (leaving her to treat a doll as if it was Jody). Under the instruction of psychologist Dr. Turner (played by veteran award-winning actor John Hurt), Michael enlists live-in nurse Katherine Randolph to help Allison get over her trauma, only for Katherine's unorthodox methods to create tensions between the couple.

The concept of using a psychology test to influence the story was later explored with the 2009 horror game Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and the 2015 horror game Until Dawn.

Gameplay

The game is a series of movie scenes inter-cut with psychological questions to the player that can lead to alternate scenes and change the game's ending. The player also has the ability to explore the house the game is set in in first person. The house is sectioned of into various static pre-rendered scenes and movement is accomplished by clicking on-screen arrows, so the exploration aspect is very similar to the game Myst.

Exploration is necessary to find the next set of questions (completion of which advances the story) and can also lead to various optional scenes and further insight into the game's characters through in-game objects.

The questions are presented as the player talking to a psychologist, Dr. Turner (played by John Hurt), who is also the psychologist of the couple featured in the movie. The questions are part of a so called "Thematic Apperception Test" and after the player finished the game he gets a psychological profile for himself either in the form of short bullet points or a longer, more in-depth form.

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