Atari 2600

Review by Keita Iida

Universal Gamex


Graphics: 3

Sound: 1

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 3

xman.gif (4420 bytes)Nowadays, it's possible to take an objective look at game software packages designed specifically for adults, withouta big furor over the whole thing. But back then, it wasn't the case. Most videogame magazines back in the 2600 days either blasted X-rated games because they were explicit, or didn't provide any coverage for them altogether. None of the adult offerings during the early '80s survive the public outcry against sexually explicit videogames, and X-Man was no exception.

X-Man is an extreme game possibility built into the familiar maze-game format. The story could easily be about munchers and monsters, but it's not. Boy wants girl and girl wants boy and both want to do what all humans want to do -- well, maybe except for Clint!). Sure, there's major hassle involved in achieving satisfactory results and reaching the goal. So, how much more true to life can you get?

The opening sequence sets up the action as boy chases girl (both without any clothing on) across the screen a couple of times and into a room behind the door. Girl disappears and the maze sequence begins. The door behind which the fair damsel is waiting is located center screen. There is only one path to the maze that leads to the door and it spirals in from the outside edges. An attacker in the shape of either scissors, teeth or a menacing crab moves through the maze in search of the X-Man, trying to get him (and his "member) before he can get to the door. There's a time limit involved as well.

X-Man moves quickly through the maze. He has 99 seconds in which to reach the door without being caught. He also hasfour chances. He loses one each time an attacking object catches up to him, and he loses the game when all four chances are gone without bringing the journey to a successful conclusion. Scoring is based upon how much time is left on the clock by the time X-Man gets to the door, so the faster he is able to get there the more he will score. No points are given if the guy is caught by an attacker. Visual and auditory warnings are given when there are only ten seconds remaining on the countdown timer. These remind the player that time is running out and a life may be lost if X can't get to the door in time.

Once the door has been reached the screen changes to what is supposedly a scene in the room behind the door. Having achieved his first goal, now it's time for him to REALLY score! He gets to have sex with the girl and has 30 seconds in which to produce mutually satisfactory results. For those of you who don't get what I mean, let's just say his goal isto make her climax. And if you still don't get it, check out some of the programs on the Discovery Channel. Anyways, this is called the "Sexy Surprise Mode". A Sexual Excitement Meter at the bottom of the screen indicates just how well the busy little guy is doing. Bonus points are scored for every increment on the Meter that is reached during the action. Bonus points are also scored for the number ofseconds remaining on the countdown time at the conclusion of this mode. If the player does not manage to reach the highest level on the excitement meter, all points scored up to that time are lost.

After accomplishing his task, he gets the chance to try it all again with a new maze and different attacker. This time the door is brown instead of orange and the action that goes on behind it differs in style from that of the first door. The third successful run through the maze brings yetanother variation on the theme. After achieving entry to the fourth door, a green one this time, the player reaps his reward by being able to watch all the action for 30 seconds without having to do any of the work. The entire cycle is then repeated.

wpeC.jpg (4284 bytes)The graphics for the game are average, the maze sequences being much smaller than the character figures in the second stage. All character representations are blocky with the exception of the attacker. Well, except for the boy and girl's private parts, which are greatly exaggerated (well, maybe not according to Hardie). A lot of colorfully explosive graphics are called for (if you play well enough) and provided. The images provide amusement in a cartoon-like way. There is nothing here to be taken seriously. Sounds are not very impressive, but X-Man depends much more on visual than sound representations anyways.

As you'd expect, this is not a game for everyone. It does not pretend to be. For those adults interested in combining the entertainment of a video game challenge with the illicit thrill of being naughty, there are definitely better ways to spend your free time. I mean, don't expect any virtual reality-type stuff here, OK? It's all in good humor, and it can probably be considered more of a parody of sex than anything. I also don't know of any other adult game who's penalty of losing is so severe!


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:37 PM