Saturday, February 10, 2018

Haggar the whore-ible (or, enjoying the carnal pleasures of the sexy, gay, Final Fight-esque brawler, Strange Flesh)

I don't often write about "adult" games here.

Of course, I don't often play such games, either, and that's not because I'm a prude or because I otherwise turn my nose up at them.

Actually, I love playing games that titillate--especially if that titillation is aimed at the LGBT community.

Unfortunately, few games featuring content that's both adult and gay ever ping my radar. Besides the one discussed here, the only others that have done so in recent years are the steamy visual novel, Coming Out on Top, and the surprisingly sexy bullet-hell shmup, Sugar Shooter. (I've also written about the beef-tastic JRPG called Ana Holic!, but I've yet to play it.)

Given all of the above, it shouldn't be surprising to hear I was more than a bit excited when I first became aware of Strange Flesh (via this eye-opening--not to mention NSFW--teaser image) just before its release in late October.

At least, I was excited until I discovered the game was an old-school beat 'em up in the same vein as Double Dragon, Final Fight, Golden Axe, River City Ransom--you know the drill.

You see, although I've long been intrigued by side-scrolling brawlers like the ones I just named, I've rarely enjoyed playing them. Or maybe I should say I've only enjoyed playing them to a point. A few stages in, I'm bored to tears and ready to tackle something--anything--else.

Still, I decided to give Strange Flesh a chance. An hour or so later, I walked away. Not because I'd grown tired of it, as I seemingly always do with these kinds of games, but because I'd beaten it.

Granted, Strange Flesh only offers up four stages, so finishing it isn't the most noteworthy of accomplishments. I actually appreciated its brevity, though. Far too many games these days--free or otherwise--require you to dedicate hours upon hours to them. Encountering one that asks for about 45 minutes of your time is refreshing.

You know what else I found refreshing about Strange Flesh? Its graphics, soundtrack, and gameplay. All three components are so convincingly "late 1980s beat 'em up" it's hard not to be astounded by them.

Actually, that statement needs to be amended just a bit. After all, while the bulk of Strange Flesh acts, looks, and sounds like a game that came out alongside Golden Axe and Final Fight, neither of those quarter-munchers (nor any of their counterparts, as far as I'm aware) feature gameplay, graphics, or music that could be considered "adult."

Strange Flesh, on the other hand, is full of such content. Hell, you'll see something eyebrow-raising every few steps as you play through this PC game. (Download it or launch its browser version at

After you punch, kick, and tackle the game's "figments" and "projections" (all of the action here takes place in the player's mind), you, uh, "finish them off," too--and you do so in various ways that would make most moms blush, or worse.

Speaking of which, a little disclaimer: if regularly witnessing pixelated depictions of gay sex (some of which are kinkier than others) turns you off, you should stay far away from Strange Flesh.

Which isn't to say that's all there is to this title. The core gameplay is both smooth and satisfying, even when controlled via keyboard-button presses. (Note: this is how I played through Strange Flesh. Three times.) In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if Strange Flesh were fornication-free, it would be well worth a look by all fans of the genre.

As things stand, though, it's hard to give it a blanket recommendation. Although I'm sure some straight folks will get a kick out of it, many more likely will find it disgusting or distasteful. I have the feeling the same could be said of a sizable portion of the LGBT community.

Still, I can't be the only person in the world who finds the idea of playing a pervy, gay Double Dragon clone thrilling. To anyone who feels similarly, I say: give Strange Flesh a try.

See also: Strange Flesh's spot-on instruction manual

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