Send the kids to bed. These games are for mommies and daddies only. Now for many of you reading this, “adult” Atari 2600 games are old hat, but if they aren’t, open a new browser tab, Google “Custer’s Revenge” and take some time to immerse yourself in the colorful history of a video game that gained every bit of the notoriety one would expect a game that requires players to rape a captive Native American woman would gain.

All done?

Custer’s Revenge is the most famous X-rated 2600 game, but it’s far from the only one. After Custer’s publisher Mystique was boycotted into oblivion, a company called Playaround started selling Mystique’s two other games and a few new titles as 2-games-in-1 double ended cartridges. Playaround then doubled the size of their game library by creating gender swapped versions of each game, cleverly allowing them to market the exact same number of cartridges they would have if they’d just sold the games individually.

Most X-rated games don’t offer much in the way of gameplay. The focus is obviously on the destination rather than the journey. The entirety of Custer’s Revenge is a naked General Custer walking from the left side of the screen to the right to engage in pixelated coitus. Other titles run the gamut from tedious (Knight on the Town, Burning Desire) to derivative (Bachelor Party, Beat ‘Em & Eat ‘Em). But while most of these games fail to either entertain or arouse, Cathouse Blues just fails to arouse.

Resembling a slightly more erotic version of Blueprint (go ahead, Google “Blueprint video game”), Cathouse Blues might actually be a better port than the official one produced by CBS Electronics. Instead of running from house to house looking for pieces of a Goldbergian monster blaster, here you control a man running from house to house looking for ladies of the evening to “score” with. For a price of course.

Each level begins with seven ladies entering one of the twelve houses on screen one at a time. Your goal is to hook up with all seven of them. The first stop is the ATM in the lower left corner of the screen. There doesn’t seem to be any limit to the amount of money you can withdraw, but carrying too much cash attracts the mugger, who ends the game if he catches you. Trying to enter a house that doesn’t have a woman or not having enough cash to pay for her services attracts the attention of the police. If they catch you, they take your money and haul you off to jail, costing you a life.

Gigolo is the same game with the roles reversed, the player controls a woman looking for dudes to rendez-vous with, and a slightly different (and, for what it’s worth. slightly better) boudoir animation. Neither game will satisfy anyone hoping for virtual sex, but if you want something that represents this crazy period of gaming history and isn’t a chore to play, Cathouse Blues and Gigolo are good bets.

Ric Pryor Ric Pryor (30 Posts)

Ric Pryor started playing video games when he could barely see over the control panel of a Monaco GP machine and he hasn't stopped playing since. Well, except for that break he took between the Crash of '83 and the release of Williams Arcade Classics for the PC in 1995. He collects and plays old and new games for pre-crash systems and is the creator of the Atari 2600 homebrew game Galactopus.