Monday, 15 April 2013

Arcade Round-Up #2

It's been a while since I took a look at an 'adult' came here at Red Parsley - it's not really a subject I invest much time or thought in I suppose (no, really!) - but I did kind of stumble back into the murky world recently when I discovered... well, let's leave that as a surprise for a later post shall we? Before we get there, however, I thought it might be spiffy to return to the setting of the first such game I looked at and investigate some more of the few risqué arcade games that made it out, purely for the sake of completion you understand!

I had intended to look at each one individually, but as I should've guessed from my previous experiences with the genre, limited as they might've been, games that feature any adult material are generally rip-offs of existing games but with some boobs and stuff tacked on as well. It would've therefore been a bit of a waste of effort to devote a whole review to each one. To that end, here's a round-up of the five somewhat dubious examples that probably no one has ever played:

Block Gal (1987)

Any regular visitors here at RP should know of my fondness for bat 'n' ball games, so simply adding a bit o' skin to such a title must mean I'd still find it at least semi-spiffing, right? It makes sense in theory at least, but this effort, published by Sega no less, is the oldest game featured here so I don't hold out too much expectation for the adult content. Indeed, aside from a slightly sultry-looking (but fully-clothed) young lady on the title screen it was a while before I even saw anything at all, for Block Gal initially appears to be a completely normal, non-adult Breakout clone. Its stages feature all the usual stuff and there's a few minor innovations such as the colour of the bricks denoting how many times they need to be hit, but the only adult stuff I found was a pink-haired young lady sprawled on the ground after each stage. She's obscured by flowers at first but each stage you win removes one line of them until after the tenth stage she can be viewed in all her glory, but it's no more explicit than what's been seen in countless anime shows. As a bat 'n' ball game I quite enjoyed this one at first but after a while it reveals itself to be a bit limited and rough around the edges. Passable but don't play it if you're after sexy girlies doing inappropriate things! ... 6/10

Las Vegas Girls (1994)

I discovered this one by chance when I noticed its name in a game list. I naturally assumed it would be a gambling game of some sort. However, as you can probably see, it's actually just a columns-esque 'falling blocks' game. The blocks in question feature various things found on the reels of slot machines and must be arranged in such a way as to match three or more of the same one either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. The game features ten girls in total whose poses make up the backdrop to the playfield. They're usually shrouded in darkness (see right side of screenshot) but if you manage a decent score or combo, you're rewarded with a brief illumination (see left side!). It seems to be a rather obscure game, even for the genre - I can't find much additional information on it and there's barely any mention of it on that interweb machine. Maybe that's because it's not very good. There are several difficulty settings and it's a two-player game, but it's a bit clunky and not very enjoyable to play... 3/10

Play Girls (1992)

Yes, that's right, another bat 'n' ball game and one which should feature a bit of skin too, judging by its name at least! Upon 'inserting' a coin, you're offered the choice of four amiable-looking 'play girls' who comprise the backdrop to the brick-busting action but who then get immediately covered up by not only the bricks but completely! The first lady is covered by a shower screen, for example, while the lights go out on the 'exotic dancer' to the right here. All is not lost though, for each round you finish (by destroying all the bricks, obviously) more and more of the saucy minx is revealed! As a bat 'n' ball game though, Play Girls is pretty average. There isn't really that many stages considering how easy they must be to make, and their designs aren't especially memorable either. Each one does feature a treasure chest somewhere on the screen which drops one of various icons when hit with the ball. Some are for points but most are Arkanoid-style power-ups such as a larger bat or slower ball, but there are a couple of interesting versions of the laser from Taito's game such as a controllable tank or even a ninja! There are certainly better brick breaker games around though, and the ladies are nothing to get too worked up about. So, decent fun for a few minutes it's all pretty generic stuff... 5/10

Peek-a-Boo! (1993)

Crikey, yet another bat 'n' ball game! It seems Atari provided pervy programmers with an ideal outlet for their inappropriate tendencies with they came up with Breakout all those years ago! This particular effort is the work of Jaleco and was notable for only one reason really - it catered for female as well as male gamers. That's right, that means that in addition to the six amorous ladies on offer, there's also two males to choose from as well - well I never! Aside from that and the mildly-humorous name (and corresponding title screen) though, we're in familiar territory with regards to the gameplay. Each character is hidden in the background of his or her own stages which are filled with the usual bricks as well as numerous less-obstructive balls and, much like many other 'adult' games, the lady (or gent) loses more clothes on each one. There are again Arkanoid-style collectibles to help you do this and it can be reasonably enjoyable if you like this sort of game. Graphically it's strangely appealing, although technically it's pretty poor for its day, but spending time on it purely for the titillating pictures is folly... 5/10

Super Pinball Action (1991)

As I've been learning, most games that contain some sort of adult-orientated material are one of only a small number of genres, but one of them was definitely not that of pinball games... until I stumbled upon this effort! It really is just a blatant attempt to shoehorn a number of scantily-clad girlies into a game that doesn't warrant them too. Just look at this screenshot - looks like nothing more than a normal pinball video game, right? And it almost is - you get the choice of four ladies (well, one choice features two rather friendly looking examples together) and each of them has their own completely unrelated pintable. Before starting each, its custodian nonchalantly announces "If you hit all the targets I'll be happy to take off my clothes!". If you manage to do as she suggests (as well as a few other things), she will indeed remove her clothes as promised! Although far from photo-realistic, the ladies here are the most realistic looking of the games featured too, but they add nothing to the game. I suppose that's true of most adult games but here they seem more out of place than normal. However, as a pinball game it's actually not too bad. The Crush series showed us what could be done with pinball video games but the tables here are pretty decent for an 'authentic' pinball game. Although they're all only a single screen in height (albeit, a vertical screen), their design is reminiscent of real tables and the ball physics is passable as well. However, all of this is true with or without the ladies and it's not an easy game to find, so... 6/10


  1. Yeah, there's a lot of puzzle game clones with scantily-clad women on MAME. It's interesting to go through them as there's no way you'd ever hear of them or see an original cab without the wonderful MAME. I think I've played one of the crap Breakout clones and it was a pretty grim game with pictures that weren't even worth trying to uncover!

    For one that's actually decent, try Pocket Gal 2 Deluxe on MAME. It's basically a re-skinned Side Pocket pool game with ladies who gradually take their clothes off. The bonus is that the game is actually pretty good as you will know if you have played Side Pocket on the Mega Drive or something.

  2. Haha, there sure is more of them than I first realised! Most of them are poor-to-average, relying of course on the pixelly skin to bring in the cash. I actually reviewed the first Pocket Gal earlier in the 'adult' series of features; you're right, it's pretty good! I haven't played the second one yet but I'll get to it eventually :)

  3. There was a more recent one too, from Namco, around 1996 or something? It's called Dancing Eyes and it's sort of like a 3D version of Qix, you move around the bodies and when you remove the tiles, it's their clothes coming off or something. It works in MAME but without audio. Fun challenge and all that, and it's not just nuddy women - there's cows in it as well, ha ha!

  4. Haha, sounds about right :P I'll check it out but I've been having problems getting games running on MAME since I was forced to upgrade to a Windows 8 PC :(