Video Games

I got addicted to 'First Person Lover,' and you could too

This free 3D online advergame is hard to stop playing, and yes, a bit corny. Crave's Michael Franco finds out what it's like to blast people with "love pushes" and a "kiss gun."

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Not so full of hate when you're naked, are you baddie? Screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET

I have to admit that until today, I hadn't heard the term "advergame." If you haven't either, it's an amalgam of advertising and game (duh), and I just got done playing one that promised to devour my entire morning. Good thing I had to get back to writing about it to share it with all you loyal Crave readers or I'd still be lost in the world of First Person Lover.

Yes, that's right. It's called "First Person Lover," a positive twist on first-person shooter games, and it's put out by the Björn Borg clothing line. That probably makes it sound pretty awful, but once you start playing, you quickly forget you're blasting people with "love pushes" and a "kiss gun" and just wind up getting absorbed by the well-rendered 3D action.

The concept? The world has been taken over by hate and a series of "hate harvesters" have been planted around the city. Your job is to "liberate" the haters by shooting them with things like your kiss gun and love-bubble blaster. Liberating them involves shooting them until their clothes come off, and then zapping them with your "love glove" until they get "filled with love" and dressed in an outfit from the Bjorn Borg collection. You also need to destroy the hate harvesters. Corny? Certainly. But is it fun? You bet.

As you progress through different levels, you get better and better weapons and, just like in any good first-person shooter, the attacks from the haters get more intense. The gameplay is smooth and the graphics first rate. The game was developed using Unity3D, a software platform for creating awesome online titles.

It really helps that the "adver" part of First Person Lover is pretty low-key. Except for having to choose your clothes from the Björn Borg line at the start of the game (or you can just play in your underwear) and some graffiti sprayed on the wall of one of the buildings offering a discount code, there isn't a lot of heavy-handed pandering going on. Even when you "liberate" the haters and get them dressed up in the brand's outfits, there's no mention of what the specific pieces of clothing are, nor is there a "click here to purchase" link. So you wind up with a pretty cool free 3D game with kisses, love and nudity.

Just try it. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. And you know what? It was kind of nice not having my screen splattered with zombie brains and blood first thing in the morning. Blasting people until their clothes fell off was a nice alternative.

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This is what it looks like to blast a baddie with a kiss gun. Screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET