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Privates Out, Flapping About In The Breeze

If there's a pun, they thought of it.

Zombie Cow have finally unzipped their trousers, pulled them down to their ankles, then in a fit of pique ripped their underpants clean away from their waists to reveal their privates. And at the same time their game, Privates, is available to play, for free.

Privates, you see, is a sort of pun. Puns are when a word can be confused for another word. So “privates” can be associated with people in the army. An army is a collection of cross men and women who shout and fire guns at other collections of cross men and women. And of course “privates” can refer to a penis (like a sausage, but leakier) or a vagina (no idea). Imagine a game that conflates the two! It’s time to go shoot some STDs. (Sexily Transmitted Dirtiness.)

It’s a side-scrolling shooter, as all vaginal-based games are. Move about with the keyboard, aim with the mouse, and that all works well. The levels are packed with various STIs to battle, using different coloured ammo in your weapon. You scan an enemy (hit Space) and it then tricks you into being educated about the disease, while also telling you which colour gun goo to fire to defeat it.

And it’s of course packed with Zombie Cow writing. Voiced this time, all professional. Occasionally the timing doesn’t work, dialogue broken up by peculiar pauses, or voices quieter than the (fantastic) background music. And of course you want to make sure you can hear it. This is a game with words like “winkies” and “choo-choo”. And Left 4 Dead jokes.

More visual feedback would be nice. The colour of your weapon is often extremely difficult to see when the camera’s pulled far back and your squad buddies are in the way confusing you with the colours in their own guns. The number keys to choose ammo types (mouse wheel works too) are only shown when you’re in the scan menu, meaning when you’re trying to clean up some herpes and a surprise fleet of invading sperm arrive, it’s a hectic panic to try to remember which arbitrary colour applies. A permanent guide on the HUD would solve this pretty instantly.

I think there’s still a couple of bugs to iron out here or there. But, get this right, heh, wait for it, they could, see, claim that bugs are another STI!

It’s free, it’ll teach you why you should put a condom on you or your partner’s winky before you stick it inside something, and it lets you shoot sperm. Shoot at sperm. Have a look.

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John Walker

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One of the original co-founding robots of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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