Leather Goddesses Of Phobos
By Infocom
Commodore 64/128

Published in Computer & Video Games #61

Leather Goddesses Of Phobos

If you're under-18, or not very broad minded, you shouldn't even think of playing this game - in fact, you shouldn't even be reading this review.

Right, now we've got rid of the old fogeys, let's get down to the juicy bits...

Leather Goddesses - the first smelly adventure! - is a sexy romp around a few planets, in search of parts to build a machine capable of destroying the Goddesses, who plan to turn the Earth into a vast pleasure playground.

Leather Goddesses Of Phobos

LGOP can be played in any of three modes: Tame, Suggestive, or Lewd. Default mode is Suggestive, and even the computer yawns if you switch to Tame. That leaves just one alternative, and I took it. Purely, you understand, to be able to warn you not to - it is far too powerful!

To start with, the game has to determine your sex, and it does this by giving you the urge to visit the toilet in Joe's Bar, where you are full to bursting with cheap beer. Once you've made your move, there's no sex-change available without restarting the whole game.

Suddently, they strike! With a blinding flash, the aliens arrive, and cart you off to Phobos, one of the moons of Mars, where you are thrown into a very comfortable cell, minus your ordinary clothes.

Leather Goddesses Of Phobos

But don't worry, the Goddesses have thoughtfully provided you with a brass loincloth - or a brass bikini if you went to the "Ladies".

You have limited freedom to walk around the building, and to your horror, observe what must surely be your own fate.

Some poor wretch is being forcibly experimented on - anatomical experiments on unmentionable parts of his body, involving some plastic tubing, and a Yak. Eat your heart out, Jeff Minter!

Leather Goddesses Of Phobos

Teaming up with Trent, your buddy from the cell across the way, you set out to destroy these friends before they can do any more harm. Especially to you!

Trent, although not very bright, comes up with an original design for a Super Duper Anti-Leather Goddesses Machine, which he scribbles down on the back of a matchbook. All you have to do is to get hold of the parts...

Easier said than done in an Infocom adventure, especially when the parts are as diverse as: a six foot length of rubber hose, a pair of cotton balls, a Cleveland phonebook, a picture of Jean Harlow, and a few other bits and pieces.

Leather Goddesses Of Phobos

Your search takes you to other planets, by means of a teleport system of black circles. Stand on one, and you fall through to another world. But there are characters around on the other worlds, that are not much friendlier than the Goddesses!

To start with, there's a mad scientist on Venus who is conducting research into whether the sex drive is in the mind or the body.

Give him half the chance, and he'll transfer you and Trent into the bodies of a pair of caged gorillas in his laboratory.

But fear not, a quick step into the circle at the foot of his stairs will allow you to avoid this fate.

Only trouble is, you spot a length of rubber hose in the cage, and it's just about six feet long. What's more, there's no way of getting it out of the cage from the outside...

Even when you get out of this predicament and solve the main problem, there is some tricky thinking to be done to unravel the logical twist, and get back into your own body, free, and with all your possessions!

Mars is not a whole lot better, although if you enjoy a sport of canalling, as I do, you're in for a nice cruise on the Royal Barge. Navigating from dock to dock is not too hard, despite the rather rudimentary controls, but hitting the dock that looks the most interesting, requires a careful analysis of the geometry of the canal, and the meaning of the control buttons.

That dock is called My Kinda Dock, and it is the gateway to the Sultan's Palace. The Sultan has a riddle for strangers, and it's instant death if you get it wrong first time. It's also instant death if you try to escape, or fail to answer.

But the promise of spending an hour in the secret recesses of the inner harem, with one of the Sultan's 8,379 wives, in return for the correct answers, aroused my journalist's investigative instinct.

Sharpening my wits to Wilkinson pitch, before long I was with wife number 69 who, amidst the exotic perfumes, lay naked on the luxurious furs and silks that furnished the place.

I won't tell you about what it feels like to kiss a revolting frog for it was a let down at the end.

With all this sensuousness, LGOP would hardly be complete without the scent of the many odours that confront you, and so here, is the first adventure games with added smells!

Included in the packaging is a Scratch 'n Sniff card, and if you want to sample a smell mentioned in the game, all you have to do is type SMELL, and the computer will respond with the number to scratch. Some of them are absolutely revolting!

Although the Infocom parser is as good as any you'll get, the more I play Infocom games, the more I discover that it isn't quite as clever as it's cracked up to be. Too many times did it fail to recognise a sentence that seemed perfectly reasonable: like KISS THE FROG AND GO EAST.

The responses to impossible actions are usually helpful, by telling you not to bother, and there's a cheerful COME AGAIN if you press RETURN without entering any characters.

I played the game on a Commodore 64 and must report that it is painfully slow, making lengthy disk accesses for relatively simple commands. This, of course, will not be a problem on other machines, for I cannot imagine that any drive can be slower than the 1541.

Well, all this talking is not getting me out of the bedroom window. Believe it or not, there's a 1933 Ford parked outside, and it's got a loose headlight! I just gotta get it!

Keith Campbell

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