First Bite | Game Review | NSFW 18+

First Bite | Game Review

First Bite is an all-inclusive buffet of dark comedy, sexy vampires, and deep, eternal bonds — From dead ends, to sexy ends, to best friend forever ends – no matter your preferences or persuasions, First Bite will have a route for you.

Playing this game, it’s clear that the writers knew exactly what they were going for – and then they just went for it, full steam ahead. And it’s precisely because of this specific, clear vision, that the end result feels so well-defined, and flawlessly executed.

If you’re not interested in dark humour and supernatural themes – or you don’t find the idea of ‘death by vampires’ even slightly appealing – then First Bite might not be the game for you. However, if you are interested in an erotic, comedic visual novel starring a trio of hot, homicidal vampires – then you’ll absolutely love First Bite.

While the game’s horniness is obvious from the outset, this in no way means that First Bite is shallow – nor is the rest of the story merely an excuse to string together some superficial sex scenes (not that I would have minded either way, to be fair).

As I played through each route, and further got to know the cast, it became clear that there was much more lore and nuance hiding beneath the surface – adding extra depth and originality to an already intriguing game. In fact, I can’t help but hope First Bite Games might be planning some sort of sequel, prequel, or spin-off, as I’m dying to read more about these awfully loveable characters…

Game Name: First Bite
Developer: First Bite Games
Publisher: First Bite Games
Platform: itch.io
Age Rating: 18+ // NSFW
More information: Twitter | Website
Price: $9.99 USD

Age rating: First Bite is rated 18+ for strong language, violence (potential player death), blood and gore, (optional) sexual scenes (including consensual kink and BDSM), (supernatural) emotional manipulation, and other content that some players may find disturbing. Player discretion is advised.

Ratings

Some wholesome moments about a sense of belonging, but mostly a erotic game, with many potential player deaths…
Sexy, sexy vampires. Even the ‘dead ends’ are somehow sexy. In a death-y way. Rated 18+ for violence and sexual themes.
Only three LI’s, yet somehow one of the most diverse casts I’ve seen. Consistent character designs that suit the game and it’s tone.
Succinct storytelling with a distinct style. The writers knew exactly what they were going for and leant into it. Only complaint: I wish it was longer.

Premise

One night and three hot, murder-horny vampires… What could possibly go wrong? You (the protagonist) are an avid fan of all things cryptid and supernatural, with a passion for writing erotic/horror fanfiction. One night, feeling restless after a nightmare, you decide to go for a walk around your neighbourhood, only to spot that house everyone knows in haunted, or abandoned… or both.

After breaking and entering into the spooky house at 6969 Dead End Drive (nice) – you embark on a fateful (and potentially fatal) encounter with the three resident vampires; Laurel, Ilyas, and Valeria. They seem pretty keen on killing you, so you’ll need to put your A+ ‘bull-shitting’ skills to good use, as you evade the dead ends lurking behind every dialogue option, and try your best to survive your first, real vampire encounter…

“What would you do if you had the chance at a second life, after death?”

– Synopsis (Official Website)

The concept for First Bite is made crystal clear from the very beginning, and, particularly as a shorter game, I like that the writers didn’t try to overstuff the plot with too many different elements – instead opting to keep it simple and polished. That being said, even in such a concise, neat concept, there are still plenty of options and endings, allowing for a different experience in each playthrough that’ll leave you dying to play again.

If you can survive the night, you’ll be well rewarded, and even if you don’t, some of the dead ends were just as fun as the ‘good’ ends. Despite the seemingly gratuitous themes of sex, blood, and violence, First Bite treats its players with care – including explicit consent, aftercare, and some surprisingly wholesome themes around belonging, home, and family.

Game Trailer

Characters

Quality over quantity: Having only three love interests in a game developed by a smaller, indie team prevents overstretching and losing sight of the bigger picture. And, to be honest, Ilyas, Valeria, and Laurel have large enough personalities that they can easily carry the game on their own.

Recommended play order: IlyasValeriaLaurel

If you’re solely here to live out your twisted vampire fantasies, then please disregard my recommended play order and go wherever your naughty little heart desires. I chose this recommended order based on how deep and nuanced their route felt, and how much lore was dropped in their conversations, but it’s more of a soft suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule.

Ilyas (bless him) doesn’t contribute too much to the deep and meaningful discourse, and the options for his sexy ends are fairly limited compared to Valeria and Laurel. He’s still my favourite, and I actually enjoyed his sexy ends the most, but his route is a rough, raw, wild ride — and that’s about it.

Valeria had a little more complexity, but still fewer options and branches than Laurel’s route. Valeria’s route was the only one I managed to clear with a ‘good’ ending on the first attempt, and it felt a little more straightforward than the others. She has a couple of options available in her sexy ends (which don’t change the outcome, only the experience), but this paled in comparison to Laurel’s wonderfully twisted web of kinks and fetishes.

If you’re looking for a love interest who’ll weave a fascinating tale and draw you in with their mysterious, enigmatic charm, then you’ll find exactly that in Laurel’s route. They had the most interesting backstory, and the way they spoke was so eloquent that it compelled you to pay attention, slowly drawing you deeper and deeper into the scene, before finishing with an intensely intimate finale, regardless of the exact way you choose to go about it…

Main Character

Name: Customisable – Noe Amsell (Default)
Pronouns: Customisable – She/Her, He/Him, They/Their
Appearance: Customisable eye colour and outfit – otherwise unspecified
Voice Actor: N/A – not voiced

If you’re a fan of self-insert otome games and visual novels, then you’ll be pleased to know that First Bite facilitates this immersion with an MC who has no set appearance or gender, and whose personality feels deliberately designed to closely match the target audience of the game.

While customisable MC names are an otome game staple (and customisable pronouns are becoming increasingly more common), the thing that struck me as particularly innovative was the way the erotic scenes were written. There aren’t any options to choose your anatomical configuration, and considering the game’s focus on inclusivity, I was curious to see exactly how these ’18+’ scenes would work.

In short, I was pleasantly surprised. The writers managed to craft sexy, sensual scenes using language that didn’t refer to specific body parts, so players of all shapes and sizes could imagine themselves in the shoes of the main character, regardless of the pronouns they chose.

Furthermore, the writers didn’t shy away from graphic descriptions, or rely on euphemisms, and I don’t remember reading anything that sounded particularly clunky or awkward — so it just goes to show what can be achieved when the team is made up of skilled writers with a motivation to create a truly all-inclusive experience.

I can’t stress enough how satisfying it is to read from a perspective that aligns with your own personality, rather than watching the main character make odd decisions that seem to deviate from the purpose of the game (or, at least, what the player is trying to get out of it). The writers knew exactly why we’d want to play First Bite, so they gave us a protagonist who wants the same thing – and MC’s inner monologue perfectly suited the game’s dark sense of humour.

In short, First Bite’s protagonist has just enough personality and proactive participation in the plot that players won’t feel stuck in the role of a passive spectator — while also leaving the characterisation vague and customisable enough that players can easily immerse themselves in the game.

Ilyas Al-Rai

Name: Ilyas Al-Rai
Pronouns: He/Him
Potential Endings: Dead, Sexy (and Dead Sexy), Platonic
Voice Actor: Alejandro Saab
Tropes: Himbo, Ore-sama, Onii-san
Dynamic with MC: Aggressively dominant and will kill you for funsies, but may secretly enjoy being told what to do… just a little bit.

“Desperation makes your blood sweeter, so… beg.”

The adorable, homicidal himbo of your dreams: Ilyas is a self-professed slayer of thousands- no, hundreds of thou-, no millions of people, yet somehow made me say ‘awww’ over and over again. A beautiful combination of endearingly excitable, vain ‘ore-sama’, and deadly hunter – Ilyas was the first character I pursued in First Bite, and he’s still my favourite in the game.

I’m a sucker for a guy with an over-inflated ego, and the way he sounded so proud of himself over the slightest (perceived) achievement hit me like an instant arrow to the heart. There’s a line where the protagonist asks him to crush them like a melon, and, honestly… same.

It took me way too many tries to finally get an ending where I didn’t die (permanently), but I had a great time being killed by Ilyas over and over again, so I’m not complaining. My first attempt ended rather abruptly when I got too into goading him into hunting me, but still — worth it.

You’ll like Ilyas if you: want to be hunted down and pounded into the ground by a hulking behemoth of a man. Or join him in pure, unadulterated himbo excitement over swords. Or both. (both is good).

Valeria Andrei

Name: Valeria Andrei
Pronouns: She/Her
Potential Endings: Dead, Sexy (and Dead Sexy), Platonic
Voice Actor: Marie Westbrook
Tropes: Hime-sama (Princess) with a dash of Tsundere
Dynamic with MC: Valeria enjoys being worshipped and pampered (like a princess)–but she’s still in charge. You will give her all of your love and attention, and – if you worship her well enough – she’ll reward you…

“All I’m thinking about is shredding your throat like barbecue, so talk fast.”

The kind of woman you’re dying to worship: Valeria is a killer queen and adorable brat… but, mostly the killer part. She can – and will – shred your throat like barbeque, and don’t forget that the handcuffs on her nightstand are for you, not her (unless you’re not into that, of course).

I felt that the writer’s care in catering to a wide variety of players was more obvious in this route. Despite Valeria being a sexy, murderous vampire (who you’re trying to convince not to kill you without your consent), her erotic scenes are all completely consensual. If you say you’re not interested in the sex stuff, then there’s no shaming or disappointed sighs, and the platonic end didn’t feel any less intimate than the sexy ones.

Furthermore, choosing not to engage in the bondage/BDSM options doesn’t result in a worse outcome, just a different one. Again, Valeria doesn’t sulk or seem disappointed in anyway, so there aren’t any negative repercussions for not wanting to use the handcuffs. And I loved how she felt more like a caring, gentle dom – offering a different dynamic from the other two love interests.

In short, Valeria is a badass queen who loves to be lavished with attention (and gifts). She’ll gleefully tie you up and blindfold you (if you’re into that), but her style of dominance isn’t rough and ruthless like Ilyas. It’s more sensual, and you can feel the love in it.

You’ll like Valeria if you: want to worship and obey a (slightly bratty) princess who’ll indulge you in a pleasurable reward for your devotion.

Laurel Portman

Name: Laurel Portman
Pronouns: He/They
Potential Endings: Dead, Sexy (and Dead Sexy), Platonic
Voice Actor: Jalen Cassell
Tropes: Trickster, Kuudere, Yandere
Dynamic with MC: Laurel will play you like a puppet so be prepared for some mind games. It took me a little while to get a handle on their personality, but the mysterious, enigmatic vibe is all part of their appeal…

“Is there something I can do for you? Yes. Is there something I will do for you? Quite unlikely, but it’s worth a shot.”

An eloquent, enigmatic puppetmaster: Laurel’s route is an enthralling journey that’ll disorient you with its twists and turns, until you’re completely at their mercy. With a fascinating backstory and an intriguing aura of mystery, the best way I can describe Laurel is bewitching.

I was completely drawn into their route by their elegant style of speech, which was so rhythmic it became hypnotic–perfectly setting the stage for a deeply intimate finale. Laurel’s sexy ends were intense (but only as intense as you want them to be), and I was impressed at the variety of options available.

Laurel was a bit harder to get a read of in the first part of the game, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect– but, that’s kind of the point. While Valeria and Ilyas battle for the right to succumb to their base instincts and rip out your throat, Laurel watches from a distance, letting the scene play out for their own amusement. They’re cunning, manipulative, and measured – adding a whole new type of tantalising danger to the mix…

You’ll like Laurel if you: want to feel like a mouse being toyed with by a cat before it eats you… and/or shop at Hot Topic and hype over K-pop idols together.

Story & Gameplay

First Bite is a dialogue-heavy story with high-stakes player choices, where you have to think carefully about what you say next, or find fangs at your throat.

There are 26 ‘dead ends’ to collect, with a ‘death tally’ to mark the ones you’ve cleared, as well as several variations on each character’s ‘good end’. There are four CG’s to collect (one group shot, and one for each love interest), with the three character-specific CG’s unlocked by clearing any one variation of their respective ‘good’ ends.

Estimated play time: My first playthrough (from starting the game to my first good end) took around 1 hour, and I’d suggest that it takes roughly 3-5 hours to get at least one good end for each character. However, this will vary a lot, depending on how fast you read, and how many dead ends you want to collect.

First Bite isn’t a long game, but it is a good game. By keeping the scope fairly small (one night, one location, three vampires), the writers were able to produce a neat, tidy game that prioritises quality over quantity. And the quality was excellent. I have to admire the First Bite Games team for being able to pull off something as tight and seamless as Laurel’s leather pants, despite only consisting of four people.

Main Features:
☆ Three vampires to romance
☆ If romance isn’t your thing, forge a (cursed) friendship
☆ Customize your character’s name and choose your pronouns
☆ Multiple ‘Dead Ends’ – choose your words wisely, or find fangs at your throat
☆ Multiple ‘positive’ outcomes
☆ Four collectible CGs
☆ Partial voice acting with the talents of Alejandro Saab (Fire Emblem: Three Houses), Jalen Cassell (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), and Marie Westbrook (Jujutsu Kaisen)

Gameplay Mechanics

First Bite is a visual novel, so the primary style of gameplay is simply ‘read the text and click to progress’, with several player choices along the way.

There are plenty of save slots, so, with an abundance of player deaths around every corner, I recommend saving frequently to make it easier to return and re-play for different endings. There’s also an ‘extras’ feature where you can find a gallery of your collected CG’s, as well as the ‘death tally’ to keep track of the ‘dead ends’ you’ve encountered.

The overall UI and aesthetic is easy to navigate, easy to read, and suits the atmosphere of the game. There are several settings that can be adjusted to fine-tune the experience, including accessibility options like assistive self-voicing. There’s also a skip button (with adjustable text speed), so it doesn’t feel too laborious to re-play multiple times and collect all of the endings.

The only thing I felt was missing was an ‘auto-play’ feature. I often like to let visual novels play out without having to click repeatedly – especially if I’m binge-playing something for a review – but, as First Bite is a relatively short game, this wasn’t too big of a deal.

Final Thoughts

An indulgent feast for lovers of vampires and horror erotica; First Bite is a sexy-scary visual novel where you have to choose your words carefully, or find fangs at your throat. Or maybe you choose your words carefully so you do find fangs at your throat (no judgement here).

As a former(?) emo kid, queer person, and avid fan of all things gothic horror, I adored this game–and you can bet I’ll be pitching it to everyone I know. I’m always on the lookout for more 18+ visual novels and otome games, so with the perfect balance of sexy, funny, and taboo, First Bite ticked every box for me.

Due to the short playtime and chiselled-down premise, First Bite had to absolutely nail the writing in order to be a success… and it did. The narration and MC’s inner monologue had a consistently dry sense of humour that perfectly sets the ‘dark comedy’ tone of the game, and each love interest had a distinct style of speaking that further enhanced their unique character design.

There’s enough variety between the characters to appeal to a plethora of players, and enough in common to craft a cohesive, consistent concept that knows exactly what it’s trying to be. All within the neat and tidy package of a single, fateful night at the mercy of terrifyingly sexy, yet oddly endearing creatures of the night…

You’ll like First Bite if you like: sexy-scary vampires; LGBTQIA+ friendly self-insert visual novels; cryptid and supernatural lore; dark comedies; and erotic scenes that contain (optional) healthy depictions of consensual kink and BDSM.

Screenshots

Game Info

Game Name: First Bite
Developer: First Bite Games
Publisher: First Bite Games
Platform: itch.io
Age Rating: 18+ // NSFW
More information: Twitter | Website | Patreon
Price: $9.99 USD

~ Thank you to First Bite Games for providing us with a review copy of First Bite! ~

About the Devs

First Bite’ is the debut visual novel of indie dev team, First Bite Games. This team is a partnership between Souha Al-Samkari, Dani Dee, Aenne Schumann, and Kris Wise, who have all previously worked on narrative-driven games. ‘First Bite’ is the first game they’ve produced together.

Souha is known for her work on ‘Akash: Path of the Five’, and her upcoming game, ‘Runner’.

Dee worked on ‘Alkahest’, and is currently working on ‘High Elo Girls’.

Aenne has been a part of the ‘Arcade Spirits’ series, and ‘The World Next Door’.

Kris has worked on ‘When the Night Comes’, ‘Errant Kingdom’, and ‘Call Me Under’.

Thank You

~☆ Patrons ☆~

SSR – Tarranga

SR – Fitzroy

SR – Teryarel

Contact Us

For business enquiries, please email us at: sweetnspicyreviews@gmail.com

Patreon | Twitter | Facebook | Reddit

More like this…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.