I want to begin this review by saying that despite the cute cartoony image on the cover, this graphic novel contains explicit sex scenes, and it is not suitable for children of any age.
Kennedy’s world turns upside down when he walks in on Seth, his boyfriend of six years, having sex with another man on their kitchen counter. Despite this monumental betrayal of trust, Kennedy is willing to work on their relationship, but Seth tells him the relationship has been over for a long time and he’s done forever.
A dejected Kennedy retreats into his beloved video games, and then the combination of a power surge and um—bodily fluids—zaps Kennedy into the world of video games.
Kennedy experiences a wide variety of gaming genres: survival horror, fantasy MMORPG, outer space, and even a cute platform style game. As he travels from zone to zone, he meets all sorts of video game characters who find him attractive and want to have sex with him.
And boy, do they ever! Kennedy has quite the erotic adventure, expanding his repertoire with an older Bear/Dad, a threesome with an Ogre and a Barbarian, and even an encounter with an idealized version of himself. Along the way, Kennedy learns to believe in himself and that he is valued/desired just the way he is. Kennedy returns to the real world with a renewed sense of purpose and a positive outlook on the future.
OMG, I loved this book so much. Kennedy is such a sweetheart. I might be reading into it too much, but judging by the way Kennedy interacts on the dating app FUCKR, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of experience outside of his long-term relationship. So it’s especially meaningful to see him come into his own (no pun intended) over the course of his sexual encounters. Speaking of which, the numerous sex scenes are scorching hot and encompass a variety of types/tropes: age gap, threesome, sex toys, and more.
But there’s more to this book than the sex scenes. I know it sound trite, but Kennedy really does learn more about himself during his wild adventure, and my favorite part of the book was when Kennedy spent time with Dash, a cartoon cheetah who’s supposed to be an amalgam of Mario and Sonic. No, Kennedy doesn’t hook up with an anthropomorphic cheetah, but they have a wild time playing all of Dash’s games, and Dash gives Kennedy some poignant words of encouragement.
I would absolutely recommend Cheater Code to anyone who likes queer fiction and video games. This book was an absolute gem, and I’m looking forward to reading more from Foxe and Daz in the future.
I received a copy of this book from Oni Press/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.