Mystique Sex Games (Round 2) – Atari 2600

Here, the game challenges you to figure out the secret input to continue: up, down, repeat.

Here, the game challenges you to figure out the secret input to continue: up, down, repeat.

When I first started out as a wee little blogger, WordPress eased me into the online community by recommending that I follow those with similar interests, so I looked into a few other people writing about video games and left a comment or two here and there. Out of that original group, I can proudly boast that only I still update on a regular basis. Or at all. Writing doesn’t come easy, even to me, and few things can discourage a writer more than having a stat counter that only proves no one reads your work. However, one year later not only do I still post, but I have averaged about five views per day since I started. Not that I always had this many readers. Well…viewers. Who knows if they actually read each dissertation I write?

My luck turned around about three or four months back with one entry that I rushed through and didn’t feel confident about. In it, I mocked the Mystique/Playaround line of sex games for the Atari 2600, naively thinking that no one in their right mind–no one!–could actually get interested in super-low resolution sprites of naked men and women engaged in simple, mechanical two-sprite animations meant to resemble sex acts. To give you an idea of the magnitude of my misjudgment, after that entry my readership jumped up to an average of about 23 views per day. So to show my appreciation for the unnatural pleasure I take from constantly looking at the graphs on my stats page, I’d let you take some unnatural pleasure in the other three Mystique games.

For those of you who missed the previous entry, Mystique, later rebranded as Playaround, tried to make games for the Atari 2600 that appealed to adults. Horny, creepy, perverted adults. They released the 1982 equivalent of M rated games on extra-long cartridges that had two games in one (because you simply can’t pleasure yourself if you can’t jam your extra-long toy in at both ends). These games, sold under the description of “Swedish Erotica,” came out (hehe…) as six paired cartridges, with each pair offering essentially the same game with reverse gender roles.

An improved version of "Breakout." Nothing to shake a dick...I mean, nothing to shake a stick at.

An improved version of “Breakout.” Nothing to shake a dick…I mean, nothing to shake a stick at.

If you look at games like Bachelor Party / Bachelorette Party, you may notice they didn’t set the bar very high. In fact, they just re-made Breakout. A crappy, watered-down version of Breakout. And I didn’t like Breakout to begin with.  The player’s pong paddle blocks a tiny naked man, in Bachelor Party, or a woman in Bachelorette Party, who bounces through a small field of naked people of the opposite gender. These people act like the blocks in Breakout. There. You know all about the game. Yes, I guess I could elaborate and tell you that it has four game modes, two of them sporting a zig-zag pattern of debauchery while the other forms a straight double line of fornication, each version having an easy mode with multiple…uh…guys versus the hard mode with only one.  As the player…uh…hits on?…more naked people, then run faster and faster (although we can hardly fault the little guys for getting excited), but apparently they need you as the trusty wing man to make sure they run back to the women rather than darting for your escape. Honestly, no, I don’t get it, but they modeled the game after Breakout and what more do you need than naked people?! Huh?!

RetroArch-0306-185436I can say this much about these games, though: they don’t discriminate. Your player picks up women/men of every color! Black, white, yellow, red . . . blue. . . and green. Damn it! Breakout, people! Why don’t you understand that?  Oddly enough, though, the game treats you to a jingle from Auld Lang Syne every time you start. I don’t entirely know what possessed them to do that. Maybe you’ve known these naked people for ages and don’t want to forget them…in bed? Or perhaps you’ve planned the party on New Year’s Eve, a night known for drunken hedonism? Or perhaps they simply selected a well-known public domain song? As much as I’d like to believe any one of those suggestions, they use “happy birthday” for Bachelorette Party, which easily shatters all of those hypotheses. (Yes, Happy Birthday still falls under copyright protection. I didn’t believe it either, but I looked it up on Snopes.)

Rule #1: Don't point your weapon at anything you don't intend to...well...

Rule #1: Don’t point your weapon at anything you don’t intend to…well…

Next in our line-up comes Beat ‘em and Eat ‘em / Philly Flasher, and I only have one word to say about these masterpieces. “Gross.” In Beat ‘em and Eat ‘em, a naked man so well-endowed that he probably needs leg braces and a special sling to walk masturbates off the roof of a building. The player controls two nude women (or one in the second game mode) who dash madly back and forth…to catch the drops…with their mouths….I guess some people get their kicks that way, and hey, semen has a lot of protein and ingesting it supposedly helps prevent depression, so I guess this game promotes good health. You know, in addition to public indecency.

Because witches lactate, right?

Because witches lactate, right?

In the reverse gender role version, Philly Flasher, they don’t change much, the men who dash for the droplets of I-don’t-want-to-know-what for some reason have stripes. Like a bee. A big, naked bee that masturbates after successful catches. But hey, bees cover themselves in pollen, and doesn’t pollen work like flower semen? Gross? Yeah, I know. Also the lady on the roof top sports a witch hat for some reason. This game seemed infatuated with the concept of “for some reason.” Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have anything going for it other than the concept (which while appealing to some, does not appeal to me). Darting back and forth doesn’t really create stimulating gameplay, and…well…nope. I can’t criticize anything else. You just dart back and forth. I might suggest skipping this one.

However, like in my first review on Mystique games, one of them actually stands out as kind of fun to play. Theoretically. If you get used to it.  Cathouse Blues / Gigolo stars a man and woman respectively, out for a night on the town.  The player has three objectives: one, when the police release all their prostitutes into the wild, you need to memorize which houses they go to. Two, you have to swing by the ATM. Three…well, I should hope you’ve figured it out by now. Just don’t get caught. The police will drag you to jail and you’ll lose a life, or the thief (or so I assume) will take all your cash, resulting in an automatic game over.

They say video games make kids believe they have extra lives in reality. Not Mystique: they only deal in spare genitalia.

They say video games make kids believe they have extra lives in reality. Not Mystique: they only deal in spare genitalia.

For an Atari 2600 game, Cathouse Blues and Gigolo have a surprising level of sophistication. They have multiple goals, require different skills, and they have a mostly plausible premise (except, you know, for the guy who has sex seven times in one evening. They didn’t have Viagra in 1982.) While recommending anything by Mystique falls on the line of suggesting which hardcore, illegal narcotic might best fit your needs, if you had to choose one, go for this one. While it does dull the senses somewhat, at least you get a small rush before losing all sensation and waking up the next morning with a crushing sense of regret and shame.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and if you haven’t stormed off in disgust after your search for “sex pc game” led you to an obscure, non-graphical Atari cartridge that would cost anywhere from $50 to $1000 on ebay, consider reading, following, and/or commenting on some of my other entries. Look for upcoming articles on the Kingdom Hearts games, or if I get really ambitious, “Captain N: The Game Master.” Feel free to leave suggestions for games you’d like me to write about, and I know some of the guys on youtube get actual copies of the games from fans who want to see Jon Tron or the Completionist cover their favorite…so, you know, if any of you really want me to write about Conker’s Bad Fur Day, just know that I wouldn’t cry if you absolutely needed me to plug that into my lineup.

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