The Imperial Gatekeeper
Tengsten’s The Imperial Gatekeeper is an erotic puzzle/visual novel game primarily concerned with working within a fictional immigration bureau. Til, the protagonist and playable character is a former decorated soldier who has been assigned the position of gatekeeper. While unhappy with his situation, he is determined to make his new station work in his favour.
Set in an imperialistic country, you play a checkpoint officer whose daily duties consist of checking civilian’s passes, initiating pat downs and allowing or denying entry based on your inspections. Obviously that doesn’t make for the most erotic game in the world so the main character Til decides to engage in sexual activity with individuals the player finds attractive that attempt to pass through. The game is more or less fail proof, the only real goal is to seduce the next person and story wise, it doesn’t push into any new ideas much at all. That being said, the balance of the sexual and non sexual gameplay is actually done quite well within the story, the power fantasy aspect is complemented by the story choices and the game doesn’t simply resign itself to a straightforward conveyor belt of sex. Something I consider to absolutely deserving of praise, is the introduction of LGBTQ+ content, as homo erotic scenes are not something I’ve found to be strongly present in most other games of this ilk.
Here starts a game about abusing power at an immigration checkpoint, with a general game play design highly reminiscent of a perhaps better known indie puzzle title Papers Please, a game the developers acknowledge that their game share many similarities with. Strongly tied to the undressing and physical examination sections, the sexual scenes, although plentiful, do not offer a change in any one way or another. It’s the same 3 or 4 positions with no real variation. Although the gameplay is tight and well made, it lacks diversity. The game somehow successfully introduces an aspect of monotony that would genuinely be found within this career path. Also, the lack of a complete English translation causes moments of strong confusion and can sometimes break the illusion of what you’re experiencing.
The artwork is visually appealing, with fairly interesting character designs depicting various body types that fall within the range of attractiveness standards expected in an erotic game. For me, the primary issue is that the characters don’t look properly polished and they give off a “concept art” feel. There is very little definition or “gloss” which in turn makes the designs look cheap and simple. This, along with the poor choice of camera angles and the limited positions for the sex scenes, cause it to miss out on something that would bring the game to an entirely new level of quality.
Generally lacking, very little music, only really present during particularly climactic story moments, and even then, can be quite repetitive as it is only a one to two-minute repeated stretch of melody.
A sexy version of Papers, Please, this game leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, it’s not a complete bust by any means. If you’re in the mood for a power fantasy grounded in an odd sense of realism, this is definitely the game for you.
- Realistic power fantasy
- Inclusive body types
- Inclusion of different sexual orientations
- So similar to Papers, Please that it feels like it might be infringing on copyright law
- Repetitive Gameplay
- Lacklustre art direction
Download The Imperial Gatekeeper
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP