Have You Played… Strip Poker II?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Now, I never owned a copy of Strip Poker II. It came out in 1988, a year during which I spent most of my time being 10, and a little bit 11. But, I did have the demo. It came on a cover disc (no, too easy) with an Atari magazine, probably ST Format, and what I mostly remember is a confusing mix of feelings.

Demos (RIP) were a fine art, needing to offer you just enough of a game to gather your interest, but not nearly enough that you’d feel sated. This was a balance perhaps rather easier to manage when creating a strip poker demo.

Every month I’d ransack the STF cover disc for everything I could find to play, usually resulting in repeatedly finishing a couple of levels of half-arsed Magic Pockets rip-offs, or being bewildered and amazed by what Bullfrog were about to release next. Strip Poker II popping up in the files was, for an 11 year old me, a fascinating prospect.

So of course what it does is let you play the game against a range of the photographed ladies, as they say teasing or titillating remarks, right up to the point where they’re about to show a boobie. But there is never a boobie. Unless you counted the shadowed image through a gossamer bra. And I did. At that point it would suggest you purchase the full game. Which of course, at 11, I never did. But I sort of learned the rules of five-card poker.

I don’t tell you any of this for any great reason. Every straight boy discovered the glimpses of bare ladies somewhere, whether it was in discarded copies of the Sun, the copy of Razzle a friend had found behind a bench, or stumbling upon a French film at 11.30pm on BBC 2. But I’ve never forgotten it, those giant-haired ladies reclining on uncomfortable looking floors, clutching a handful of playing cards and looking oh-so directly into the camera and out at my embarrassed, confused face.

I had no idea what to do with those feelings at 11. I’m still not sure, to be honest. What I do know now, having looked the game up on Mobygames, is that if my dad had bought an Amiga instead of an Atari, the photographs would have been way clearer.

40 Comments

  1. Heretic7 says:

    What a blast from the past. Old Amiga user here. I had forgotten all about it!

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Played it and masturbated to it.

    Tough hobby back then.

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      You had it easy.

      I had Samantha Fox Strip Poker on the Spectrum.

      • phuzz says:

        You mind must have been blown the first time you saw a real naked woman and realised that boobs aren’t square.

        • HothMonster says:

          I was surprised by their roundness but it was a few more years before I got blown.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    What I do know now, having looked the game up on Mobygames, is that if my dad had bought an Amiga instead of an Atari, the photographs would have been way clearer.

    Also, Amiga is Spanish for “girlfriend”.

  4. Daymare says:

    While John spent 1988 being 10 and a bit of 11, I, coincidentally, spent it being 0 and a bit of 1!

    • Paul B says:

      Binary birthdays are the best sort of birthdays!

    • dethtoll says:

      I spent it being 5 and a little bit of 6. I’m not embarrassed to admit I had to start from my birth date and count forwards to determine that. I am embarrassed to admit I’ve had to do that to determine my age NOW.

  5. funderbolt says:

    Ah yes, I remember it fondling – err, fondly. (Sorry)
    Actually I remember being quite frustrated at how much time, skill, and luck it actually took just to get to the boobie; the only thing pushing me forward was the knowledge that ESC-ing outta there and trying to just download a picture of a nude woman would’ve taken even longer.

    • c-Row says:

      Actually I remember being quite frustrated at how much time, skill, and luck it actually took just to get to the boobie

      And in the game.

      • April March says:

        Nah, man. In the real world the time, skill and luck come into play once the boobie is out.

  6. goettel says:

    Didn’t just play it, it played me.

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    ErraticGamer says:

    I believe this demo is also how I learned 5-card draw.

  8. davebo says:

    I guess we’re the same age, but all I had was Leisure Suit Larry which I played at a friend’s house. I’m sure most of the humor went right over my head, and the graphics sure weren’t as good as Strip Poker II. Hell of a lot easier to get your hands on an actual Playboy back then.

  9. yaktaur says:

    This reads to me like a Leopold Bloom reminiscence

  10. It's not me it's you says:

    Holy shit yes I did have this exact game. Not the demo version either, though I have no idea how I’d have gotten a hold of it.

    You could rename the tga files in the games directory to uh, play the game in reverse. Or really in any order you wanted.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Did you used to roleplay as a Christian minister? “Hide your shame young woman for flesh is the playground of the devil!”

  11. Intrinsic says:

    I remember playing this game(on the Amiga of course) and being so bad i never got that far, so i loaded a memory ripper and just grabbed the final pics from there heh. I spent a lot of time in this too: link to mobygames.com

  12. Someoldguy says:

    I didn’t play this one, but I did have ‘Teenage Queen’ on the Atari ST that had much better hand-drawn graphics and a very surprising ending.

  13. cpt_freakout says:

    My dad, who ran all things computery in our home, would always be careful about the kinds of demos and programs that were just lying around thanks to magazines, but there was this once when also 11-year-old me found a demo version of some Strip Poker or other all the way at the back of a drawer. Being super nervous about it (as well as dumb as a rock) I could never figure out how to win a round. I got frustrated and never went back to it, and had pretty much forgotten all about that memory till I read this, so thanks, it’s a fun one :)

  14. HeroCrests says:

    Born in the mid 90s I definetly didn’t exist back then, but when I was around 10 years old my dad’s girlfriend brought her pc home, and with it there was Mame32.

    On it’s vast catalogue of games it included Super Pool 3 (also known as Pocket Gal), which as you could guess was a super simplified pool arcade game, except that you played against sexy anime ladies who stripped to their underwear after winning a regular match, and straight up getting naked if you won a difficult bonus game afterwards.

    As pixelated as those boobies were, I’d play it in secret when my parents were out, neither of them being interested in videogames outside of Tetris and 1942 to monitor what I was doing. It was just a mediocre virtual pool game, but it was my first idea of sexuality, for better or worse.

  15. FreshHands says:

    What?! Never, ever! And I have to say, I am very disappointed in you all, gentlemen (and slightly disgusted).

    Boobs and no guns. For shame, RPS, for shame!

  16. thekelvingreen says:

    “Cover disc”?

    “Cover disc“?

    You are a traitor to the Way of the Three-Point-Five-Inch, John Walker.

    (No, I haven’t played Strip Poker II but I did have something similar on the C64. It may have been Samantha Fox Strip Poker.)

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    Carra says:

    Ah yeah, I remember playing games like that when I was ~13 years old.

  18. Stone_Crow says:

    Since there was no way to import your character from Strip Poker 1 all the decisions I made in that game were lost so there was no point playing 2. I remember the outrage about the Instagram filter endings in Strip Poker 3 and how it made all the events of 1 and 2 pointless anyway as was glad I quit at the end of 1.

  19. jfultz says:

    The ANTIC Atari 8-bit podcast recently did an interview (ataripodcast.libsyn.com) with Art Walsh, the founder of Artworx, which published Strip Poker and its sequels. The discussion of Strip Poker begins at 39:30.