[Forbidden Games] Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties

Welcome to the second entry of this column in which I review forbidden (and forgotten) retro games with adult contents.

A lot of the games that will be revisited here will have, as well as adult themes, some contents that may offend somebody. But please remember, we are here just to re-discover something rightfully forgotten, so don’t take it so seriously, we don’want to offend anybody. Just have fun and laugh 🙂

Today’s game is one of those FMV that flooded the market in the early Nineties, Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties.

The FMV technique was quite a thing back then and had its roots in the the late Eighties with games a la Dragon’s Lair or with home consoles like the Action Max which used VHS as a media. This highly forgotten console (which obviously never made it) used a VHS cassette in which it was recorded a “movie” the player coulòd interact with in some specific frames, for example shooting at cars/thugs/various objects. There was no way to win or lose, just score “points”: you can understand why this kind of technology was quickly swept under the rug…

A few years after some companied tried it again, now with these full motion video in which, in theory, to the player was given more chances to interact with the story. The champion of this technique was the doomed 3DO console (but even the CD-i to be honest), always in the front line when there was something awful to show, for which were released a bunch of this titles, like the recently rediscovered Night Trap (a 25th anniversary remastered verision will be available this year).

The interaction level in Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties is dangerously close to zero and, although is usually labeled as a FMV is actually a sequence of images in slideshow…yes, like the ones you see full of data and graphics at the company meetings. And boring the same way…

Why is forgotten?

For its adult contents, of course, as all of the games covered in this column. It happened in the past that the censorship banned some games for adult contents when, in the end there was nothing more than some sexual related hints but in this case we can see (in the uncut version) almost fully frontal male and female nudity. As a man I cannot comment too much on the male protagonist (but it looks like someone a girl could drool for) but as for the female protagonist, she has a body to kill (SPOILER and big boobs 🙂 )and even if you look at her picures now, well…she aged very well! 🙂

Plus, we have to consider that the FMV genre had a very short life for a series on unlucky coincivence and for its intrinsic lack of gameplay. These kind of game were also “popular” on a series of highly unsuccessful consoles, like 3DO, CD-i an Sega-CD that gambled almost entilrely on this new technique that ultimately failed to the test of the market.

Why is forbidden?

Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties came out for the 3DO, a consoled badly advertised and with poor sales, especially for the sky high retail price (around 600$ in the early 90s!!!), the poor games library and the fact that it was licensed to various companies that produced all different versions of the consoles: although they were all compatible with all the games released, the people were confused to see so many different and pricey consoles and the sales never took off.

Why is fun?

Let me guess: poor acting? poor gameplay? Poor interactivity? Poor everything? The only memorable things are some nuduty scenes and that’s saying something on the gameplay. It would have been the same to distribute an adult romance short movie. It’s also fun for the unrealistic situations and for the slideshow style of the game, which is something very, VERY annoying.

How can I play it?

If you’re lucky enough to own (or wealthy enough to buy) one of the various versions of the 3DO you can buy the game but watch out, because it is very, VERY expensive. If you’re poor but smart you can find everywhere on the internet some rip-off of the game for PC (yes, it was released also for the PC…) and you can play it without any problem using DOSBox. But if you’re a rela lover of crap you should definitely try the original one.

Something similar but a bit less crappy???

It’s very hard to find a not-crappy FMV but if I had a gun to my head I’d say one of these:

  • Phantasmagoria, a point-and-click adventure with an horror theme, released for the CD-i that features real actors acting on blue screen;
  • Dragon’s Lair, of course the original arcade version, a game that shocked (positively) the gaming world when it came out back then on laserdisc for its detailed cartoonish graphics;
  • The 7th Guest, an adventure with a lot of logic puzzles to solve in order to conplete the game

And finally, if you need other games related to this which is crappy and adult oriented like Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties, stick around, more games will be covered soon!

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. thedeviot says:

    People became much more aware of this game a few years ago when James Rolfe did an episode of his Angry Video Game Nerd Show about it. You don’t need to play it to see how bad it is. You can honestly watch the AVGN episode, and get what little entertainment there is out of it without investing all that much. Plus James is a very entertaining video content producer anyway. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyaF_gCKWsI

    Liked by 2 people

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes I’ve seen that episode (I’ve actually watched almost all AVGN episodes) but I wanted to try the game anyway. Boring as watching a bad movie, since the interactivity level is below zero…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have not played this game. Congratulations on finding a forbidden game on an unpopular console, it seems to be a difficult achievement. The footage seems to have a low quality, with fuzzy visuals and bare scenery.
    What is FMV? Is it when a computer game inserts filmed footage (with actors) into a game? How do you actually play the game?


  3. I had a 3DO…(it was awesome while it lasted)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Wow, one of the few people I know they had it back then…


  4. Oh. My. God. I had an Action Max 😳 The nostalgia is so strong in my brain right now because I remember that vividly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      What? You really had an Action Max??? I thought it was a kind if myth!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES! Omg I had to text my brother today because that brought back the memories. We had the Pops Ghostly game, and the minute I saw Action Max that’s what, er, popped into my head lol. My dad was really big into any kind of video game technology, so we had some pretty obscure stuff 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. benez256 says:

        Check if you have blue thunder. If yoy find it it’s worth a fortune!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh goodness, that thing is long gone alas! My brother used to have Transformers, and an original Optimus Prime is worth a ton of money o.O

        Liked by 1 person

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