As all gamers know, our beloved pastime doesn’t always get the best reception from the press. The media is quick to condemn video games, and we’ve heard it all before. Violent games are corrupting our children. Too much gaming makes us anti-social. The 3DS is twisted dark sorcery forged by monsters, and its glasses-free 3D effect will cause our eyeballs to melt right the hell out of their sockets (yep, I read something quite similar to that prior to the handheld’s launch).
This sort of stigma has died down somewhat as gaming has become more mainstream in recent years, but it’s an attitude that will never be gone entirely. Devs and publishers even use this whole thing to their advantage, pumping the violence and gore up to eleven and allowing the resulting won’t somebody think of the children outrage to do all the PR for them. The Mortal Kombat guys, for instance, sure know their audience.
While horrifying, blood-leakin,’ spine-rippin’ good times are the main cause of controversy in video games, they’re not the only thing that the industry takes flak for. Since rumors of a topless Lara Croft hidden in Tomb Raider first spread around schoolyards, the idea of games flashing the flesh has captivated many. There is, of course, a market for smutty games, and there are developers who specialize in them. The first couple decades of the industry was rife with this sort of thing. Settle in for 15 Classic Video Games That Go Full Frontal.
Here’s another one to file in the drawer marked 'How The Heck Did They Get Nudity Into THAT?' (I know, it’s getting pretty crowded in that drawer). Pac-Man with a nude dude. That’s really all I have to say about this one. That’s its USP.
To elaborate a little, Universal Gamex apparently thought it was a good idea to release an odd little maze game starring said, pantsless guy. You cruise through the horribly pixelated corridors of the environment, avoiding enemies in the shape of crabs, scissors and such. In the center of the maze, an equally naked woman awaits. That’s all there is to it.
As awful as it is, X-Man deserves a little of your time. Only so your very own wondering eyes can bear witness to the most gloriously appalling sex scene in gaming.
14 Leisure Suit Larry: MCL
Magna Cum Laude was, I guess, a bit of a departure for the series. It starred a different main character: Larry Lovage, nephew of love’s great loser Larry Laffer. Lovage is a student, attending Walnut Log Community College and hoping to get onto Swingles, a low budget dating show. To prove himself worthy to the hosts, he’s got to show that he can woo the college girls, and you know what that means: A variety of minigames, all centered around raising certain girls’ affection and eventually getting them into bed. Or not.
The only full frontal nudity in the game is really from Lovage himself, but there it is nonetheless.
13 God Of War
It’s all ancient history, as they say. What is? Nudity, that’s what. As anyone who paid attention in history class will know, our Roman and Greek ancestors were notorious for never being able to keep it in their damn togas, having feasts and orgies at a 1:1 ratio at least seventeen times a day.
It was a simpler, more 'adult time. God of War being set during this age, you’d expect Kratos to be getting his rocks off every other level, and you’d be darn right. Our hero never shows anything himself, but his female companions show off more 'slippage' than Janet Jackson. Through the course of the original trilogy, Kratos engages in awkward QTE love scenes with everyone from imprisoned twins to Aphrodite herself. Busy guy.
12 Samantha Fox Strip Poker
The celebrities of the world like to give the impression that they’re professionals. That they’re singers, actors, football players, racing car drivers, or whatever else they purport to be. Don’t be fooled by them, though. These people exist for one and only reason: to hawk their products. I know what I’m talking about here, I once saw Arnold Schwarzenegger selling barbecue grills on the shopping channel.
In 1986, British glamour model, actress, and singer Samantha Fox was already famous. Famous enough to plaster her name on a cheap and sleazy strip poker title for the Commodore 64. The console wasn’t short of this sort of game, oddly enough, but nobody had thought to bring the busty celebrity angle to the table before. Where would the Commodore 64’s library be without this one?
11 The Guy Game
If you thought something like Acclaim’s BMX XXX was the height of cheap gaming sleazery, you… well, you’re right on the money. It’s got some fairly stiff competition, though. I’ll see your BMX XXX and raise you a The Guy Game.
The Guy Game knows what guys like. What all guys like, no exceptions. Trust The Guy Game on this, it has conducted extensive research and has thought this through. If you’re interested, guys like two things, and two things only: breasts and beer.
The game takes the form of a faux game show, and after each question it cuts to footage of real-life South Padre spring breakers being asked the same questions. Players bet on whether the girls answer correctly, and if they don’t, they have to flash their ladylumps for the camera. The better you score, the less obscured your view.
10 Custer’s Revenge
Speaking of Mystique, it would be a crime not to mention their other 1982 Atari masterpiece. Custer’s Revenge is probably the best known —and most woefully craptacular— adult title that early gaming has to offer. Let’s give it another spotlight, and so more attention that it really doesn’t deserve.
Like Beat ‘Em And Eat ‘Em, this is very much a Helmet clone with a phallic coat of paint. It stars the iconic general himself, sporting the kind of erection that’d make King Kong feel a little inadequate in the man-part department. His only goal is to travel from left to right, dodging arrow attacks and making his way towards a similarly nude busty woman tied to a cactus. On reaching her, he… well, you can imagine.
9 General Retreat
Quite understandably, the devs and the publisher took a fair amount of stick for Custer’s Revenge. The backlash was incredible, even if they did try to appease our wrath with amazingly pun-tastic titles like The White Man Came and Westward Ho!. I’m a huge fan of puns. I pun therefore I am, so I can respect that. But there’s nothing else remotely respectable about the pixelated erections of Custer’s Revenge.
In their defense, though, the team did create a sequel of sorts, in which gender roles were reversed. General Retreat sees the player take the role of the Native American woman from the original, huge triangular old-style Lara Croft boobs and all, as she pursues the unfortunate Custer, now tied to a cactus in her stead. Now that’s gender equality.
8 Beat ‘Em & Eat ‘Em
Let’s kick this party off the right way, friends. Here’s the tale of a man stimulating himself on a rooftop, while two women run left and right on the street below catching his ‘droplets.’ In their mouths.
Imagine, if you will, a sleazy take on Game and Watch classic Helmet, with two key differences: First, you’re collecting items falling from the sky rather than avoiding them, and second, nobody’s got any damn pants on. That’s Beat ‘Em & Eat ‘Em in a nutshell.
This slice of gaming magic was brought to the Atari 2600 in 1982. It came (yep, that was intentional) courtesy of Mystique, notorious peddlers of gaming filth. This is one of the earliest examples of such, and is notable for being one of few games that allow you to control two nude characters simultaneously (the women).
7 Bubble Bath Babes
Bubble Bath Babes is, in many ways, an inspiring life lesson for us all. If you want something enough, work hard enough and believe in yourself, you can achieve your goals. Keep at it, never lose faith, and even the most unlikely video game genre can be smut-ified.
What we have here is a Tetris-like puzzler, featuring differently colored soap bubbles and, of course, lots of boobs. Like many puzzlers, your aim is to arrange the soap bubbles filling the screen into groups of the same color. This makes them disappear and adds to your score. There are combos to earn with clever play, all that sort of stuff.
Unlike most puzzlers, there’s a woman lounging on the bottom of the screen, and erotica as rewards for completing levels.
6 Rampage: World Tour
Now, if there’s any game you don’t expect to find nudity in, Rampage: World Tour is that game. This 1997 action game was the second release in the Rampage series, and centered around three gigantic monster movie rejects: George, Lizzie, and Ralph. Your goal as one of these creatures is to simply destroy the buildings of the cities you find yourself in, while fighting back against the military forces trying to stop you.
So far, so not smutty. The caveat here is that the monsters you control were once human, and can revert back to their original forms for a time. When they do, they are seen to be completely naked. Props to you, Rampage: World Tour, for addressing my main issue with the Marvel movies (where the hell do the Hulk’s size XXXXXXXXXXXXL pants magically materialize from when he transforms?).
5 Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood
Another super unlikely candidate for nudity. There are a lot of reasons players continue to adore Castlevania, one of gaming’s most enduring franchises. Some enjoy the Gothic atmosphere, the tight platforming of the early games, or the Metroidvania exploration and secret-teasing of the later releases. Some might even enjoy the more recent 3D instalments, although they’re kind of ass in comparison. There’s no accounting for taste.
Anywho, my point is that nudity is generally not a factor when it comes to Castlevania. Still, there is some to be seen. Carmilla is a recurring foe in the games, based on a character from a Gothic novella that predates Dracula. Her appearance in the series is usually based upon a Succubus, aggressive and entirely nude (usually).
4 Burning Desire
Mystique’s smut machine may have been forcibly shut down before Burning Desire released, but its proud legacy lived on. Playaround took up the mantle of being the seediest developer in the industry, and so Burning Desire was born.
Again, we’re talking super simplistic retro gameplay which boils down to avoid the thing/aim for the thing. It’s the things concerned that make the difference, and man are there a lot of things on show here. The concept is that your naked hero or heroine —depending on whether you’re playing the gender-swapped version, Jungle Fever, or not (not that you’re playing either, because they’re awful)— must save their mate, who is trapped in a forest fire in the nude. We’ve all been there.
Dangling from a chopper, you put out the fire by means best left to the imagination, and then your partner grabs your appendage and is airlifted to safety.
3 Bachelor Party
As a man soon to be married, I’ve got a bachelor party on the horizon myself. I don’t quite know what my closest friends have in mind, but I’m really hoping that I’m not going to be stripped naked and catapulted at high speed, human cannonball style, into a bunch of also-naked women who are standing in a super awkward looking straight line.
If my fiancee’s reading this, I definitely don’t (wink) want this to happen (wink wink). If Breakout with boobs and dongs sounds like your bag, this Atari title is for you. Who thought this was a good idea? Why are the women standing there like a caterpillar of kindergarten kids learning road safety? I’ve no clue. The good news is, there’s also Bachelorette Party, where the roles are reversed.
2 7 Sins
They say that pictures say much more than words. In the case of the 7 Sins' boxart, those words are probably something like, Yep, that’s a butt right there. We’ve got a woman in her panties, a shady-looking dude in a purple armchair, a second woman with her arm inside his shirt... This is a sinful game right here.
I didn’t know that a picture could say that many words, but 7 Sins’ message was clear from the start. Developer Monte Cristo was hawking this one as a kind of naughty Sims, a life sim that encourages your sims to be bad. The player’s actions are governed by the seven deadly sins, and, as the game’s mature-only rating will testify, Lust was central to that idea.
1 Dead Or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball
The Dead or Alive franchise, as we know, isn’t one to tread carefully. It isn’t one to toe lines, err on the side of caution or tiptoe around censors. Nuts to all of that, exclaim the DOA devs at Team Ninja, let’s introduce a ‘sweat’ mechanic that makes the girls’ tops become increasingly see-through as the fight goes on.
With the series being known for being one giant jiggle party, a spin-off like Xtreme Beach Volleyball wasn’t anything unexpected at all. The first of these hit the original Xbox in 2003, and was full of suggestive shenanigans. Of course, nude mods quickly followed, but the game features a particular swimsuit which allows the player to see all of the wearer’s body when they’re underwater. Or so I’m told, obviously.