By sirdesmond 11 Comments
On this week's episode, we left video games behind for a spell (Get it? Because we talked about Magic: The Gathering!) and spent some time discussing some of our favorite analog, non-video-based games. In order to get us transitioned back to the world of video games for next week's special triple-prime episode. I thought I would talk briefly about one of gaming's unsung traditions: the virtual card game.
Since the conception of video games (and even before, I would imagine) humanity has been burdened by the cost and weight of the standard deck of playing cards. While you may not have experienced this problem in our modern, digital age, it was truly one of the darkest scourges facing society in those primitive and frightening times. As early as 1976, video versions of some of the simplest card games were being released in video-game form such as Video Blackjack for the Channel F. Following close on its heels was the aptly named Blackjack for the Atari 2600 (pictured above), released in January of 1978. Like all things on this earth though, it wasn't long before someone found a way to retain the original product's basic components while also including a varied selection of human female breasts.
Cover Girl Strip Poker was released for the Commodore 64, Amiga, and PC in 1991. It is exactly what you would expect from a strip poker game: win a hand and you get to see a layer of clothing removed. Where things start to get weird is with the unusual selection of some of the women's outfits. As you can see in the screenshot below, these cheaply paid models/out-of-work actresses were all given what I presume to be fake names (my favorite of which is Trine because that is most certainly not her real name) and then asked to pose in an increasingly bizarre number of poses and situations. Sure, you have your standard late-80s high hip swimsuit poses and your varying types of lingerie but what about a woman clad in full football equipment or a woman dressed as Santa Claus (with the big, pudgy belly and everything)? Well, guess what! Those are both here too.
While attempting to research this game a bit, I stumbled across a wide array of far more notable websites that apparently chronicle the long history of strip poker games, even going so far as rating them in terms of gameplay, AI, and then obviously the models featured. It is one of the farthest recesses of the internet I have ever come to experience firsthand, and frankly, it is one I do not wish to visit again anytime soon.
Following Cover Girl Strip Poker was a wide and varied array of less titillating fare that strayed away from the more traditional casino-style card games and attempted to tackle the collectible card game (and almost always failing). Some notable experiments include: The Pokemon Trading Card Game for Game Boy Color, Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game: Champions of the Force for PC, Marvel Trading Card Game for the Nintendo DS, a million different, nearly-identical Yu-Gi-Oh games for just about every conceivable platform on the face of the Earth, and Monster Rancher BattleCard GB for Game Boy Color. Only as recently as last year did someone get it right (at least, in my humble opinion) with Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers and it's even better sequel which debuted earlier this year.
Check back on Tuesday for our next episode where we'll be talking about an array of games all originally played on a screen smaller than your standard playing card.
If you liked this article, I and my co-host Jared write one every Thursday and have a new episode of our obscure retro game podcast Joystick Tuggers, that is a podcast about obscure retro games (although we are also very obscure), every Tuesday at our site Joystick-Tuggers.com!