Tender Loving Care (video game)

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Tender Loving Care
Tender Loving Care DVD Box
Directed by David Wheeler
Produced by Rob Landeros (also designer)
Written by David Wheeler
Starring Michael Esposito
Beth Tegarden
John Hurt
Marie Caldare
Music by John Welsman
Cinematography Calvin Kennedy
Edited by Marie Walling Thompson
Distributed by Aftermath Media
Release date
  • 1998 (1998) (Windows)
  • September 10, 2012 (2012-09-10) (iOS)
Running time
117 minutes
Language English

Tender Loving Care is an interactive movie originally released in 1998 by Aftermath Media.[1] It is a psychological thriller starring Michael Esposito, Beth Tegarden, and John Hurt as Dr. Turner.[2] It was written and directed by David Wheeler and produced by Rob Landeros, who also designed the interactive features.[3] The game was originally produced with the intention of releasing the game under the Trilobyte label, but Landeros was fired from the company before it was released.[4] Tender Loving Care was later released under Landeros's new company, Aftermath Media, on CD-ROM, with the option for users to watch the movie as a feature-length film as opposed to interacting with the game.[5] In October 2012 the game was re-released under the Trilobyte Games label on the Apple iOS platform.[6] the game is based on the 1984 novel of the same name by Andrew Neiderman [7]


Michael Overton (Michael Esposito) and his wife Allison (Marie Caldare) are a couple who have been traumatized by the death of their daughter in a car accident. Allison has been especially affected, as she has been unable to even acknowledge that her daughter has died. She lives in a trance-like state and is unable to perform normal adult functions. Dr. Turner (John Hurt) recommends the Overtons hire a live-in nurse to assist with Allison's psychological healing. They hire a nurse recommended by Dr. Turner, Katherine Randolph (Beth Tegarden), whose unorthodox methods cause tensions to arise in the Overton home.


The movie is divided into a number of story episodes, between which the user interacts with the story in various ways.[8] After viewing a story episode, users are asked a series of questions by Dr. Turner to test their perception of what they have seen. Users are then allowed to navigate through a graphic reconstruction of the Overton house, where they may gather additional details of the story. Before returning to the movie or Apple device, users must take a short Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), which profiles the user's psyche. The movie includes alternate scenes and multiple endings which can be influenced by the user's involvement.[9]


In his book All Your Base Are Belong to Us, Harold Goldberg criticized Tender Loving Care as being the "wrong direction to take" with Trilobyte.[4]


  1. ^ "From Game to Movie". Billboard. Jun 1, 1996. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Hollywood Hard Drive". Entertainment Weekly. Aug 9, 1996. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "IS IT A COMPUTER GAME, OR A MOVIE? VIDEO DISC `TENDER LOVING CARE' MINES VOYEURISM INSTEAD OF COMPETITIVENESS". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. October 2, 1997. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Goldberg, Harold (2011). All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture. Three Rivers Press. p. 127. ISBN 0307463559. 
  5. ^ "Aftermath, Brilliant Digital debut DVD interactive videos". Billboard. Aug 30, 1997. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Medford software company creates mobile device game". Mail Tribune. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  7. ^ http://www.trilobytegames.com/tlc.html
  8. ^ Wolf, Mark (2007). The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to PlayStation and Beyond. Greenwood. p. 130. ISBN 031333868X. 
  9. ^ review of Tender Loving Care, at Allgame.

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