Where Did All The Nudey Games Go?

In the 80s, the covers offered the opportunity to see beautiful women in the buff, but the reality was always very different!

Write for our new site they said, give it a retro edge they said, go on then I said, but now all I can think of is scantily clad ladies, and that kind of fiddly lacy underwear girls used to pretend they were wearing back in the 1980s. The reason?  No, I’ve not been watching repeats of Dempsey and Makepeace; I’ve just processed another order for a 1989 Amiga strip poker game.  Their popularity never ceases to amaze me, we have over 20,000 games on our site, a diverse range which covers every conceivable game type, yet pound to a penny, list a ‘nudey’ game, and it’s sold within a week.

These customers are buying them through the internet, meaning they already have access to an entire world of adult entertainment, yet still want to play these rather feebly constructed stripping games, where rogue pixels and human nipples are barely distinguishable.  I’m pretty sure though, that these ‘nudey’ fans aren’t buying these games for titillation, they’re buying them for the ultimate memory trip. A visceral reminder of their journey to sexual discovery, and of course when they first learnt to use joystick and keyboard at the same time.

If you were born in the late 1960s or early 1970s, then you may have similar memories of 1980s adult gaming. Your Mum is downstairs, making your tea, you’re hot and sweaty from running home from school, frantically loading up a copied game from a world worn Lloytron audio cassette. Four attempts later, “Sex Invaders” finally loads, and you’re moving a tiny pink penis left and right, shooting spunk bullets at the floating bush monsters. Mum comes in to see if you want beans or not, and you knock your Spectrum on your floor while desperately trying to turn it off. “What were you playing?” she asks, three ridiculous explanations later, she’s confiscated your Speccy, and is sending you to bed straight after Crossroads.

The first proper ‘nudey’ game on the Commodore 64 and Spectrum was Animated Strip Poker by Knightsoft back in 1984. There were no photos, no digitization, no, there was a hand drawn lady, who to be honest, looked a bit like your friend’s Mum. She stood there in a black dress at the side of the screen while you muddled your way through the card game. Legions of school children must have learnt to play poker this way. Finally win enough money, and she takes off her dress. Now, this is where the animation comes in, I can still picture it in my mind, she turns sideways and fiddles with the strap around her neck before the dress falls to the floor. Then she’s facing forward again, in her bra and knicks, awesome! Months of practice later, and you finally get her naked, finally reveal that solid black triangle of pubic hair which someone drew – with a ruler by the looks of it! Quick, pull your trousers up, Mum’s coming up the stairs.

Even on our most desperate days, images like this are sure to encourage impotence yet the collage of pixels brought many a hot flush to young 80s lads

The adult adventure game was a completely different beast, usually they only consisted of text, but taught you things that even your older cousins didn’t understand. In 1984 I pretty much scared myself out of ever having sex, thanks to my hours playing Herpes or Bust by Mallan Software.  Whoever wrote that game had such a natural gift for bad language, and such a wonderfully sick mind, it makes Leisure Suit Larry look like Dale Winton at a hair plaiting competition.

Queen of the 1980s stripping game has to be Sam Fox. Her legendary 8-bit debut featured real digitized graphics, those beautiful chocolate brown and grey skin tones on the Commodore 64 are still something to behold. Unfortunately it was reported that thousands of copies were returned to games shops, once eager buyers realised she didn’t take her pants off.

Japanese roller girls had teenage boys captivated back in 1988 - so what's changed?

‘Nudey’ games continued into the 1990s on the Amiga and Atari ST, but grotesque willy fiddlin’ games, along with digitized two minute hardcore treats released through the public domain scene, certainly stemmed the flow of full price titles. One notable game though, was Teenage Queen by French company,  ERE Informatique. This arty strip poker game takes the style of Japanese anime. While the pictures may all be hand drawn, they are typically erotic. However, any teenage sexual enthusiasm quickly ebbs at the end of the game– and not in the nice way -  as the hilarious reward for finally completing the game sees our teenage queen take off her skin, and reveal she is in fact, a robot. Zip it up sicko! Mum, hide the toaster.

It may make me sound like an old git, but isn’t this just another example of how easy kids have it these days. Any sexual fantasy, in top quality high resolution, all at a prod of the world wide web. Somehow though, the struggles of seeking gratification from our humble 8-bit machines seemed far more rewarding. And who knows, maybe the ‘nudey’ genre will become main stream once more. The huge quantity of PC Flashware and Iphone apps featuring girls in their undies shows there is still a market there, but as Sam Fox will tell you, it’ll only grow if the pants come off

Last five articles by Jace



  1. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    It’s funny, because one of my earliest memories of the Vic 20 was sitting down with Richard Bolton while he played Strip Poker, and the sheer excitement on his face as the woman finally stood naked for him to drool over. When I say “woman” I, of course, mean a collection of ascii characters which very loosely represented the female form. She stood side on facing the left and her breasts were made of a forward slash on top of a back slash with the “at” symbol carefully positioned to symbolise her nipple. Her butt was made from the same forward slash and back slash configuration and the rest of her body was made from nothing but pipe marks, including her pubic hair which was just a pipe mark in bold rather than regular.

    Yes… I remember it so well, scarily so in fact. Even back then though, at 10 years old or whatever I was, I still couldn’t understand why he was getting so excited. I wonder what his wife looks like…

  2. Lorna Lorna says:

    Fantastic piece Jace (no pun intended) :D I think my dad had a couple of these games, though I was too busy struggling with the pure evilness of titles like Booty which was enough to make a marine weep.

    You raise a hilarious point about the modern day geek…when faced with a whole heaving internet full of fetishes and kinky wonders, they still turn to pixel porn for their kicks :D

  3. Jace Jace says:

    Hey guys, thanks for such nice comments. And too right, Booty, that was more frustrating than any nudey game, and (retro fact alert) of course the first ever budget release to get a Crash Smash. Did you ever play ‘Worse things happen at sea’ by Silversoft? I get palpatations just thinking about it. And Mark, I’d love to check out this Vic20 Stripping game too, I don’t think i’ve ever seen a Vic nudey game. Perhaps we could use further comments to try and reproduce moments from the game. I’ve tried for ten minutes and this was my best attempt, she seems a bit flat chested.


  4. Jace Jace says:

    oh no, it ignored my spaces, it looks like she was in a terrible car accident ;o(

  5. Pete Pete says:

    LOL Looks more like she’s legs akimbo to me Jace!!

    Great write though!! I remember trying Leisure Suit Larry out on a friend’s machine and anticipating lots but really getting nothing from it!

    Didn’t have any pooters at home as kid unfortunately :( I missed out there!! lol

  6. Jace Jace says:

    Lol, you’re right Pete, that @ can be so much more than just a nipple!

    The only thing I can remember in Leisure Suit Larry, is the bit in the chemist where he’s trying to buy a condom, and then all the people pop out from behind the shelves. I think that was a real first for comedy writing in videogames.

    I’ve enjoyed your posts too by the way, but having never succumbed to Counter Strike, or been bitten by Baldurs in quite the same way, I didn’t have much to add in the comments. The one game which really did consume me in a similar vein though, was Dungeon Master on the old Atari ST. Its simplicity and devilishly cunning levels means it still stands up as a brilliant game today. It stole about six months of my life. If I ever find a genie, i’ll be wishing they’d continue the series on todays hardware.

  7. Kat says:

    You said “titillation” *sniggers*

    I enjoyed reading that! Being born in 1981 makes me not only stunningly youthful but means I missed out on all this malarky. The closest I get to porn in my games is being pinned by a Hunter in L4D, rawr.

  8. Ben says:

    I dunno, Smokers must be quite talented with the tongue they wield.

  9. Kat says:

    Whatever floats your boat Ben!

  10. [...] Our very own Jace covered “nudey” games that were kicking about back in the 80s in his article here. Sex and nudity will always be a part of games whether people consider it suitable or not, just [...]

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