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.


  1. Shazbut says:

    Can’t believe this is free.

    What a wonderful world we live in.

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    Has gaming cum to this, etc?


    • Metalfish says:


      Good to see this release is free to the pubic, in any case.

    • Nefaroth says:

      I tried to think of ten puns that would fit into the context of this article, but no pun in ten did.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Wank you, Zombie Cow! Wank you very much!

    • Urael says:

      Twat a fantastic game: quite cliterally the most fun I’ve had in that region for some time!

    • Spacewalk says:

      It’s curtains for you.

    • The Hammer says:

      This would have worked better as a point-and-dick adventure game, tbh.


    • The Great Wayne says:

      Actually, all vaginal games being side scrolling shooter is not accurate. As a regular player I can testify there are clearly some RTSes, some puzzles and even a few hidden object adventure for the most adventuring among us.
      And I don’t even want to talk about the -thanks god- few survival horrors going around.

  3. stahlwerk says:

    No version for bikini-wax pc? aww :-(

  4. Billy says:

    This could be the greatest example of RPS punnery in all of time!

  5. Nick says:

    It makes bums sound dirty. Hateful game.

  6. Internetguy says:

    re: no idea:

    roast beef sandwich?

  7. Mister, Please says:

    John, for the sake of historical research, I’d like to point your attention to The C-Word, which is a non-sidescrolling vaginal shooter.

  8. DJ Phantoon says:

    Encountered a glitch in the “Way Down” mission, would get to the cutscene sort of thing where we drop to the banana and my guys would just stand there. If I hit escape the game would freeze.

    • Mman says:

      Did you rush through the corridor before? I think it has something to do with the Hepatitis enemies being buggy as hell (as another example, I had one become completely invincible and then the game crashed), and it being necessary to kill them so they don’t crash the game.

  9. skalpadda says:

    The voices are almost impossible to hear through the music at times. I’ve also learned that AIDS is really annoying.

  10. pakoito says:

    I will not even try to score a chavette, EVER.

  11. lemmy101 says:

    Apparently we’ve heard the volume balance is way out on surround sound systems if windows is set to use 5.1 or similar, could it be this? At any rate we’re going to do a patch very soon that should solve a lot of these issues. Also add a music volume control.

    Cheers everyone!

    • skalpadda says:

      That’s nice. My system is set to stereo and voices are occasionally still very low (it’s not all the time, just sometimes), so it’s not something unique to surround sound.

    • pakoito says:

      Jump is kinda messed, Xbox360 pads aren’t properly pre-configured and my 2.0 speakers/headphones have trouble too.

  12. skalpadda says:

    Hm, stuck on “Going Down” now though, because my privates keep getting stuck between the teeth and dying, regardless of whether I clear out the herpes first or not.. talking about this game is weird..

    • Wulf says:

      It really is. Especially if you do so randomly.

      “So… today I learned that HPV is a creepy little girl who’ll give you CANCER OF THE PENIS. CANCER. OF. THE. PENIS.”

  13. Brian says:

    I was reading this story when my mother came into the room- she took one look at the screenshot with the giant “VAGINA” neon sign, and walked out sighing. I hope you’re happy, internet.

    • Pmeie says:

      Tsk tsk, he’s in his room, obsessing over vaginas. As usual.

      Did you yell after her “it’s an educational game!!” ?

  14. PleasingFungus says:

    I quite enjoyed it! (Zombie Cow have clearly been playing quite a lot of L4D during development – the references amused me.) But…

    …ending a free educational game like that?

    With no reason to think there’ll ever be a sequel?

    I am not sure what to say.

    • Newblade says:

      I didn’t get the ending. So the cops were aware that Internal Affairs were setting them up?

    • Mark says:

      Not sure myself but seemed like some sort of conspiracy going on. I took the ending AS a reason to think there was going to be a sequel or extra content or something. Why else would they end it like that?

    • TeeJay says:

      a (big throbbing) expansion pack?

    • The Hammer says:

      Are you guys spoiling the plot of a free webgame about dicks and vaginas?

    • Sonic Goo says:

      Expansion pack? It’s not mine, honest!

  15. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    Ha ha!

    Dangly parts.

  16. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Unfortunate that the game is a bit glitchy. And crashy too…

  17. Freud says:

    You had me at sausage, Mr Walker.

  18. Mark says:

    Well I took it to mean that there was going to be a sequel or extra content or something…

  19. Tei says:

    “Privates” is a good title, another one could have been “Ben there, done that”. Possibly outed out since theres already a game with such title.

  20. Tee says:

    Despite it being a different indie dev:

    This is the game I had in mind the first time I read “World of Goo”.
    If I play this and fail to eliminate all sperm in time, will I be in a World of Goo(rather than pain)?

    Etc, etc..

  21. Butler` says:

    I had a similar problem. Except at work.

    It suddenly occured to me that there’s two people stood a small distance behind me and I have VAGINA in giant yellow font on my screen.

  22. Colthor says:

    If Under The Garden “is the closest the modern man can get to being inside Jim Rossignol”, is this the closest the modern man can get to being inside Kieron Gillen?

  23. Mac says:

    Have they got teh following song as backing music?

  24. Item! says:

    Hang on – I thought we were all supposed to be Against This Sort Of Thing.

    Is it Ok to play and discuss this game now without being sent to sit in the misogynists corner?


    • Cooper says:

      I’m still quite incomfortable about the genital disembodiment and quite how it goes about thinking this is the best way to get tenage boys to pay attention to sex ed.

      Then again, it is ZombieCow, and I can’t but forgive them, bless ’em.

  25. mlaskus says:


  26. Duoae says:

    Why does this require a system restart? I’ve not had a game that needed one unless it had DRM… but, seeing as the game is free i can’t see why they’d need one….. There’s no mention as to why it is needed so does anyone know why it does?

    Just wondering.

    • skalpadda says:

      I didn’t need to restart.

    • Duoae says:

      Found out what it was after installing on a separate PC – XNA stuff…. though it still didn’t tell you about it.

  27. Skusey says:

    I really liked the anti-aliasing options. They were funny. Although not as funny as the racism slider.

  28. Shadrach says:

    Apparently they’ve not thought of colour-blind players, which is disappointing being an educational title aimed at schoolkids (I presume).. and terrible when a big part of the game is the different colours of the guns :( Green and yellow are impossible for me (and most others with red-green colour blindness I assume) to distinguish when they use the “lime” variants… a change to the proper primary colors would help a lot here.

    Also the game crashes on the first checkpoint (toll booth) for me.

  29. Robin says:

    It’s not very good, is it?

    By which I don’t mean it’s not my cup of tea, but that it actually looks and plays like an ultra-budget PS2 game. I don’t really understand why it was implemented in 3D – it would be clearer to see what’s going on, would run a lot faster and wouldn’t have stretched the developers’ art resources so thinly had it been done in 2D.

    That a game is offered for free, made by a small team or aimed at kids shouldn’t give it a free pass.

  30. Zra says:

    The game keeps crashing for me at the part in the first level where he knocks down the stand, just past the G-Spot :(

  31. BigJonno says:

    I just love that it completely takes the piss out of the target audience at the very start of the first level.

  32. The Sombrero Kid says:


  33. Shadowhawke says:

    This is a disgusting game. The idea that the vagina is an area that needs to be ‘conquered’ or ‘cleaned’, especially with guns, is hideously inappropriate and hateful. If this really was a joke/meant to be light hearted entertainment, I want to see games that make you clean up the male privates as well. Otherwise it remains horribly sexist.

    This is especially the case given what is happening in the Congo. For those of you who don’t know, over 200,000 women have been raped to date (UN figure), their bodies being used as a weapon of terror and war. And after these women have been raped, many have their vaginas assaulted with sticks and firearms. Some of these women have had entire clips emptied into them through their vagina, leaving them to die a horrific death.

    Sexism and femicide is real in both the developed and the developing worlds. This game is a disgusting reminder of it.

    • Mark says:

      Try checking your facts first? Level 1 is in a vagina, Level 2 is on some guys balls. Level 3 is in an anus and it doesn’t specify if it’s male or female.

    • BigJonno says:

      Don’t be silly, Mark. Everyone knows that pointing out that some women have STIs makes you a raging lady-hater. Even if you’re making the same statement about men, you’re still a misogynist. We can’t be letting the facts get in the way of a good rant, can we?

    • Lilliput King says:

      “that make you clean up the male privates as well”

      Oh, you mean like in the second fucking mission.

    • oceanclub says:

      I imagine that, on the scale of things which cause actual violent misogyny, retro computer games are several billion notches below, say, patriarchial religions. I’m reminded of that rather crap blog (name mercifully forgotten) which did a wildluy over-the-top post about “Privates” while saying that religiously-inspired misogynists were only ever found Elsewhere (oh really) and therefore Weren’t Our Problem.


    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Be careful with the direct insults, folks. I’ve snipped a couple.


  34. MrTambourineMan says:

    What is vagina?

    • Gotem says:

      judging by the neon sign must be a social club, wonder how to get in though

    • Mac says:

      I understand that plying the owner with lots of alcohol helps?

  35. Bonedancer says:

    TambourineMan: It’s a salty, tangy, slightly oily dish ranging in colour from creamy beige to bright pink. It’s made primarily of cod roe and is common in Greek and Turkish cuisine.

  36. fuggles says:

    The cursor does change colour as well, so you don’t have to look at the guns. The 4 ammo types are frankly unneeded, simply scanning something should give you the info and make your magic autogun work – bit like a tricorder.

    Can’t get past the velvet rope on level 1 though, game hard crashes.

  37. Spliter says:

    I regret eating while playing this…. ugh…
    I’m also worried about the future of my sex life now…

  38. Void_Dweller says:

    This game is awesome! Those Warhammer 40k and L4D jokes, a fun gameplay and a great voice acting, can’t forget the AIDS guy, he was most epic! Keep up the good work Zombie Cow, just optimize your games better, please :)

  39. BeamSplashX says:

    Bugs are an STI to iron out? You mean other people take care of STIs with a hot iron?

    I TOLD the police it would work!

  40. Shadowhawke says:

    Mark: Thank you for correcting me on that. I wasn’t aware of the fact that Level 2 was on a male’s privates simply because the game has been marketed so heavily on the fact that it is vagina-based. I’m glad that there has been some form of gender equality in that regards then, though I am still unhappy that they chose to market it so blatantly as attacking a female vagina. I’m afraid that I have also been horribly scarred by earlier games where the vagina was seen as a disgusting, pus-filled, STI-ridden monster that had to be destroyed as an entity, and I can’t help but feel that this game is at least somewhat similar.

    BigJonno: I must say, I am afraid there are angry, ranting people on both sides of the debate. If my comments on the game seem over the top to you, it may be because I have seen the female body commodified, sold, dissected, attacked, and scorned in too many areas of society. And as I mentioned previously, that’s not even counting the atrocious acts against women in other countries, to the extent that the UN Secretary General actually called violence against women one of the most pervasive human rights violations in our world.

    Oh, and actually, as a general rule more women than men *do* have STIs. This is because male ejaculate usually contains more potentially infectious material than female secretions, and because during the act of penetrative sex, women have more mucous membranes exposed than men. It is also because socially, women are less able to insist on safer sex practices. Or even sadder still, have little to no sexual education allowing them to know the existence of such safer sex practices.

    Or, of course, in the worst case scenario, where they have been gang-raped.

    • mlaskus says:

      Shadowshake, the game is not being advertised with vaginas. Walker took some screenshots of the first level to put them in the article, but take a look at the official site and the word vagina doesn’t appear even once there.

  41. Kefren says:

    For me the game crashes whenever a scan takes place, even in a cutscene/talky bit. So I have to skip all talking and educational bits. :-(

    • mlaskus says:

      That sucks :/ The descriptions are the best. You are going to miss the CANCER OF THE PENIS and a few other really funny bits.