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Venus Hostage, the porn game set in what sure looks like a recycled City 17 from Half-Life 2

From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. Today, sex and physics puzzles meet for a quickie in an oddly familiar place. From Half-Life to No Life, welcome to City 17. It’s sleazier here…

Ever played one of those games where you just have to pause, reach for a Post-It note and write “THIS IS NOT A FEVER DREAM” as a comforting reminder for the next time you need it? Meet Venus Hostage, a porn game sent from Russia with love. I’d joke about it maybe making more sense after downing a bottle of Vodka, but that would be cheap. I’m not however saying it wouldn’t help…

OK, let's try this again. Tell me what I want to know, or I WON'T throw you down the stairs.

OK, let’s try this again. Tell me what I want to know, or I WON’T throw you down the stairs.

Venus Hostage is the Georgian Police of porn games—though there’s almost no sex in it, and the most graphic scene is in the intro. It’s an adventure. It’s a puzzle game. Sometimes it tries to be more ambitious, and those sections are adorable. Start to finish though, it’s a game that’ll have you blinking at the screen until tears stream down your face. Venus Hostage pitches its tent in that perfect bad-game buffer zone where the creators appeared to have enthusiasm but still made… well… this.