ByNicholas Montegriffo, writer at Creators.co
NowLoading's Lucky Office Goth. Tweets: @unstabledweomer
Nicholas Montegriffo

The MS-DOS software archive hosts a wealth of games from a bygone era. Some of them are classics, others...not so much. There really are a lot of great games there that I'm grateful for the opportunity to re-visit. Hey there, Heretic! Dungeon Keeper! It's been a while, let's hang out. Other titles that clamor for my attention are less appealing. Thanks but no thanks, Reader Rabbit. Then there are some titles that are certainly eye-catching for different reasons.

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As soon as I laid my eyes on Sex Vixens from Space and Softporn 2, I was full of questions. Sure, nowadays, if online banner ads are to be believed (and why would they ever?), sophisticated 3D sex games are everywhere, with lovingly rendered CGI monster copulation always a mere click away.

But how exactly were video games trying to be sexy in the primitive era of MS-DOS? Really, really talented pixel artists. Mind-and-load-blowingly erotic text adventure? I had to take a look.

Warning: I play these creepy games so that you don't have to, and don't worry, I won't show any naughty bits.


Sex Vixens From Space

It is indeed, the Big Thruster
It is indeed, the Big Thruster
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Software Inc.
  • Developer: Free Spirit Software Inc.
  • Released: 1989
  • Genre: Adventure
  • WTF rating: 2/5

Sex Vixens From Space gets the first go on the basis of its delightful B-movie title. Here you take on the role of heroic heartthrob of the future, Brad Stallion, tasked by the Federated Government with neutralizing a group of space amazons known as The Tribe, who spread terror across the galaxy with their emasculating Sex-ray guns. Already sounds like fun, doesn't it?

ahem
ahem

Behold the alluring Space Vixens of the future. Sadly Brad seems to be some kind of cyborg, whose heat sensing ocular implants display the world in an assortment of bizarre clashing colors. Hope you like your Space Vixens in gray, blue and yellow. Sex scenes are nothing shocking — 'you make mad, passionate love', and pretty dry (limp?) variations thereof.

Nice geography
Nice geography

So no-ones playing this for the erotic content, clearly, but what about the jokes? Apart from mentioning the good ship 'Big Thruster' a whole lot, Sex Vixens from Space squanders a lot of its potential for silliness by playing it straight most of the time, with pretty dry descriptions.

Ultimately, the shenanigans of Brad Stallion aren't much good for lust or laughter, except for maybe ironically at the un-erotic delivery of lines like 'you lie next to each other after the lustful experience'. Some scenes tickled me though, like the image of the Sex-ray controls.

How complex do you like your herpes?
How complex do you like your herpes?


Softporn 2

  • Publisher: ?
  • Developer: ?
  • Released: 1985
  • Genre: Adventure
  • WTF rating: 5/5

Let's chuck graphics right out of the window and appreciate the joy of text. Softporn 1 was apparently so beloved that they had to make a sequel. Despite the lack of graphics and more prosaic scenario (a final tryst between a man and woman before she relocates to Denmark with her husband), Softporn 2 exceeds all expectations by managing to both out-sexy and out-funny and seriously out WTF a game with Space Vixens in the title.

This is not cool, Softporn 2. Not cool.
This is not cool, Softporn 2. Not cool.

For a start, the player has to enter the attributes and measurements of the male and female leads. Extreme measurements result in the game telling you off, ruling that 'dwarfs' or 'freaks' aren't allowed. Speaking of dwarfs, more WTF-ness ensues in an elf-related scene that comes out of nowhere.

Thanks, Mobygames, for getting this far so that I didn't have to
Thanks, Mobygames, for getting this far so that I didn't have to

This game is so out there at times, one finds oneself scrolling through such amazing erotic dialogue like this...

To be fair, some scenes have a decent vocabulary, but what's wrong with fundamentals?
To be fair, some scenes have a decent vocabulary, but what's wrong with fundamentals?

...to see the game throw non-sequitur situations (become the mayor of New York for no reason!) and fourth-wall breaking asides from the programmer.

There's also some fun to be had reading the comments from the game's community over at internetarchive.org:


Girlfriend Construction Set

  • Publisher: ?
  • Developer: Tom Scheffler
  • Released: 1989
  • Genre: RPG
  • WTF rating: 3/5

WEIRD SCIENCE! Nope, not in that way. Girlfriend Construction Set is freeware but hopefully asks you to mail fifteen dollars to Mr. Scheffler if the player finds it entertaining. I really do wonder how much he managed to make from this. Like Softporn 2, it has a character generation system where you input name and measurements for your squeeze. You also set personality traits. Creepily, one end of the emotional spectrum in your desired girlfriend is 'suicidal'.

The game offers a lot of different date scenarios, where the player has to perform well and make the right choices to increase their rating. More attractive, happy, and emotionally stable girlfriends have a high rating and if they get too far ahead of you, they'll dump you. This pressure on the player to meet his girlfriend's standards prevents it from being the complete male power fantasy it appears on the surface, but the player is also free to dump unsatisfactory girlfriends and make a new one.

Mobygames shows us how it's done in the car
Mobygames shows us how it's done in the car

Some date scenarios offer more amusing and insane options than others, bumping up the overall WTF-ness of the game, but the lack of Sex Rays and Voyeur Elves counts against it. Sorry Tom, you're not getting my fifteen bucks.


Emmanuelle

The protagonist sees everything through a weird velvet window frame...
The protagonist sees everything through a weird velvet window frame...
  • Publisher: Tomahawk
  • Developer: Coktel Vision, Inférence, MDO
  • Released: 1989
  • Genre: Adventure
  • WTF rating: 1/5

Emmanuelle's main WTF is the pointlessness of its own existence. This adventure game adaptation of the 70s French softcore porn film likes to imagine that the interactive thrill of typing into text boxes and having an inventory will distract you from the sheer hideousness of the primitive graphics, trying to represent the film series' exotic ladies and locales. For keyboard fetishists only.

...because European sophistication, I guess.
...because European sophistication, I guess.

Emmanuelle actually tries to be more than just a sex game, having gambling and action mini-games where the assumed male protagonists tries to win big in a casino, or fends off love rivals. It doesn't do well at this either. Suffice to say that fans of the films will doubtless have more effective and more private ways of inserting themselves into the story.


Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2: Gas Pump Girls Meet the Pulsating Inconvenience from Planet X

  • Publisher: Activision, Inc.
  • Developer: Infocom, Inc.
  • Released: 1992
  • Genre: Adventure
  • WTF rating: 3/5

Another one which made the grade on the strength of its title alone, Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 has some interesting options, and at least doesn't presume that the player needs to play a male or even a human being. You can play a woman, Lydia, or as gas station owner Zeke, or even Barth, the titular pulsating inconvenience from Planet X, that crash-landed onto Earth.

*Pulsation intensifies*
*Pulsation intensifies*

Unlike most of the other offerings here, Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 offers some relatively sophisticated early 90s full screen graphics, and a cheesy space sex romp that's more involved than what Brad Stallion can offer. It's also less sleazy than the others, being more of a comedy point and click adventure above all else.


Sexy Droids

WTF
WTF
  • Publisher: Magic Bytes
  • Developer: Eleven Software
  • Released: 1992
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • WTF rating: 5/5

What Sexy Droids lacks in 'flesh', it makes up for in sheer WTF delivered in shapely chrome form. The player needs to complete a series of puzzle challenges against an android that looks like an unholy fusion of swimsuit model and Power Rangers/Doctor Who villain. The reward images present the android in various stages of dress or undress, sometimes with metal parts changing into flesh and back again before she puts on some clothes. There's no context provided for this scenario, but the kind of hardcore robot fetishist that would jump at the chance to play this is probably just happy to be catered to at all.

I feel bad for the kind of player that could really get some satisfaction out of this game, only to be put through the torture of completing 15 boring puzzles to get right to the end, only for this.

At Sexy Droids, at clearly, at life itself.
At Sexy Droids, at clearly, at life itself.

Anyone Need Some Brain Bleach?

I certainly do. Let's take a look at how to put one's gaming fingers to better use: