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Luxuria Superbia: let’s talk about sex

Thursday, 14 November 2013 11:31 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Tale of Tales’ new game is the sexiest bit of vidya the world has ever seen, and should probably be handed out in physical education classes. Brenna Hillier reports between bouts of blushing and stammering.

Luxuria Superbia

Described as “a musical journey from the sensual to the spiritual”, which is leaving out a heck of a lot of the facts.

“A simple game of touch, pleasure and joy made for fingers on touchscreens and joysticks on computers”, developer Tale of Tales adds. This is very accurate, at least.

Can be played in local co-op, but I was not going to ask someone to help test it with me.

Available for Linux, Mac, PC and Ouya and well as Android and iDevice.

Launched last week. Currently on sale for $3 on Ouya and mobile and $5 otherwise, but will return to full price today.

The existence of Tale of Tales is one of many bits of evidence that Belgium – for all its innocent tourist reputation as a slightly dull place filled with beer, mussels and chocolate – is a seething hot spot of creative activity. This two-person team has produced some of the most interesting experimental games of the past decade, including a social MMO about deer with human faces; the quietly dark and stripped-back narrative The Graveyard; deceptively deep adventure The Path; and conversation-over-chess simulator Bientôt l’été, which arrived at my house in an envelope full of Belgian sand I’m still cleaning out of my keyboard.

Thus, when Tale of Tales sends me an email offering the chance to cover its latest game, I’m like, “yes please, and can it have turned up yesterday”. I don’t do any research to see if it is the kind of thing I will like; I assume whatever it is will be interesting, unique and challengingly thoughtful, if possibly uncomfortable and difficult to enjoy the way you’d enjoy a shooter or brawler.

I really should have done a bit of reading this time though, guys, because Luxuria Superbia is all about sex.

Sex! Oh my god! I can’t talk about sex. My face is going red sitting here alone in my office typing the word. That’s not to say I – well, you know; everything functions as expected and I live a healthy active lifestyle, thank you – but I don’t talk about it, except in very private and necessary situations, and then usually only to say things like “left a bit” and “shut up, would you?” I especially can’t talk about it with you, anonymous Internet person.

But if I’m going to talk about Luxuria Superbia, oh boy, I have to talk about sex. Gosh. Okay. We can do this. Now, I assume everyone here is a legal adult, and is fully informed about le birds and their friends le bees, as well as all the other useful peripheral information you get at school such as how to put condoms on bananas, what makes women deeply angry at the universe on a regular basis, and the importance of bathing regularly? I’m not preaching to the unconverted here, am I? Has everybody here actually had sex? (It’s a bit hard to tell with you lot, sometimes – especially when you start comment wars about whose expensive thinky box is the best; it suggests you don’t have anything better to do with your time, such as orgasms).

I know you can’t see it yet, but trust me. This is very, very sexy.

When I say Luxuria Superbia is about sex, it’s almost certainly the exact opposite of what you’re thinking, because most existing games about sex are basically just porn. Sex, real sex, isn’t like it is in porn. Or rather, it’s not like that all the time, or even most of the time. And frankly, it shouldn’t be, because the stuff that is designed to help you efficiently make the world a slightly stickier place is not anywhere near as much fun or as healthy as it could be. (As an aside, studies increasingly show that too much porn can ruin your ability to enjoy sex. Ease off a bit.) Luxuria Superbia is about the other kind of sex, the sex that can take hours or even days – if you’re very lucky – and in which everybody has a very jolly time and don’t, for example, think about who is going to do the washing up later.

At its basic level, it’s an on-rails score attack shooter, in which you travel through a tunnel and attempt to gather as many collectibles as you can without triggering the end of the level. If you do trigger the end of the level a bit early, that’s okay, because the end of the level is an orgasm, and nobody’s going to be like, “sorry, I wasn’t ready for that”. But the longer you can keep going around in your little circles, touching the right places just enough but not too much, the higher your score and the better everyone feels when you do eventually give in and plummet over the edge.

It’s played with twin analog sticks on a computer, and as soon as I started playing I wished I’d gotten around to hooking up a DualShock, because the rubbery little nipples would be more appropriate than the clinically plastic cavities of my generic control pad. But it’s also available on touch screen devices and kids, if there was ever an argument to buy a tablet it’s the pleasure of direct feedback to manual manipulation. (Yes, I know. You don’t need to point it out. Quite deliberate.)

Luxuria Superbia isn’t subtle about this. Technically, the different tunnels you explore are flowers, and there’s some talk about bees and gardens and such; it’s not too hung up on the metaphor, though, because the flower regularly asks you to do quite specific things and makes a lot of little gasps and moans. Luxuria Superbia is an abstract but very definite sex simulator. It just is. That is what is happening. That is what you are doing. You are touching a thing and making it very, very physically happy. As I really hope you all know, doing that is a heck of a lot of fun, and Luxuria Superbia is a fun little game, even aside from its abstract simulation aspects.

People playing Luxuria Superbia publicly. Probably excellent lovers.

Those aspects, though? They’re done really, really well. Even though there’s nothing explicit on screen, it probably ought to be handed out in sex ed. classes, as part of the national curriculum, so that nobody ever again gets somebody else’s pants off and then wonders what the heck to do, since there is no bad synth music playing and a team of eight hairless Germans has not wandered through the door to take over matters. Touch all the bits, Luxuria Superbia advises. Be rhythmical. Now stop being rhythmical, it adds. Watch for visual cues. Listen for audio cues. Stop over thinking it and just do what feels good because the cues make sense to you on a very fundamental animal level and also your brain has stopped working. Well done. What I wouldn’t have given to have this game a decade ago! What plans I have to slip it quietly into the lives of many confused young people!

When I fired up Luxeria Superbia I made it about ten seconds before my (repressed) face was bright crimson and I was swivelling in my chair to make sure that, against all known reason, my roommate hadn’t suddenly come home and was standing behind me. With simple graphics and familiar controls, Tale of Tales has managed to do something quite amazing: turn the clinical, disconnected and inhuman into something that feels intimate, connected and warm.

Very, very warm.

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5 Comments

  1. DSB

    Oh gawd, teh sex. Good on you Brenna.

    That was hilarious. Le birds and le bees – Nerd!

    The moment I saw the name I was transported back to the early odds, listening to anything that had the words “Swedish” and “metal” in the description.

    Actually that song still kicks ass.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. TheBlackHole

    Nice article. Welcome back Brenna!

    Stop disappearing for ages in between this stuff. It’s great :)

    #2 1 year ago
  3. schnide

    Has everybody here actually had sex?

    My very strong guess is no.

    (About everyone else, that is) xD

    #3 1 year ago
  4. DSB

    I don’t know, I’m pretty sure Erthazus is rolling in dames.

    They might be first cousins, but everything counts.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. TheWulf

    I can’t not be amused. You’re talking about an on-rails sensual gräfenberg spot simulator. I wouldn’t know how else to describe it.

    You can use that as a tag, if you like. I think you should.

    I consider myself fairly sexually mature in that it’s something I can talk about, because I find it interesting, and certainly more interesting than the usual violent fare, that’s for sure. Like a confused owl, this has always made me tilt my head at society because I really kind of just don’t get it, I guess.

    Maybe it’s the company I keep (and certainly one of them has written long passages about sensuality, so to speak).

    Still, there’s nothing unusual about a consensual activity between mature adults! I find the porn thing weird, too. I can’t help but wonder if that’s because people can’t talk about it or share it. If, say, two partners in a sexual relationship could share their porn so that they both get off on it, it remains equally as sensual. (And I know couples who do just that.)

    So I’m not sure it’s porn that ruins relationships, but an inability to communicate because of societal taboos. And weird taboos, too. Whereas if you’re not sold on that as a taboo, then you can just show all of your porn to your partner and be completely open about it.

    I feel kind of bad for you, Bren, if you’re put on the spot like this where you have to talk about it but you feel it’s wrong to. I can’t help but find that weird, but I do empathise, because there is that taboo element. So that acts as a wall (and an anxiety trigger) between you and the source material, a perceived wrongness about a completely innocent thing.

    Cultural shenanigans are weird. Humans are weird.

    Eh, I like weird.

    Ultimately though, I’m just so amused by this game and this article. This is such a Tale of Tales thing to do. Oh goodness, is this ever. They love dropping bombs like this because they see absolutely no reason not to. They also like games which challenge your perceptions, too. The Path was brilliant for that, since there’s this weird thing that’s happening lately where people have a cavalier and casual attitude to rape, that rape is funny. People didn’t think rape was funny after The Path.

    And it was made funnier because The Path didn’t even contain any rape! All it did was subjectively imply the possible existence of.

    I like Tale of Tales.

    Things that make people think differently are necessary though, we need to be challenged on every fundamental level so that we don’t take anything as a given. If we stop questioning things and analysing things, we become intellectual snails. I dig snails, but they’re not exactly known for their life works. This is one thing I tend to…

    Oh, what’s the word?

    It’s like convey and encourage at the same time.

    I want people to realise how important questioning the mundane and commonly accepted is. That’s why experiments are grand, because they do just that. I wonder how many angry articles this next Tale of Tales game will generate, whilst being relatively innocent? Hm. Cool that you didn’t react that way, Bren. Props to you.

    What is that word?

    On topic, it’s just such a fundamental thing to need to stay curious about every aspect of your life. So much of your life is going to be entirely subjective, and it’s a tragedy to accept someone else’s subjectivity as your own without ever even stopping to think whether that’s right for you. People do this a lot — they never question or think, it’s too hard, they’d rather be entertained.

    I like questions.

    I’m still not sure what that word is, but I’ll leave it at that. This is going to bother me all day, though. I’m sure I knew some word for both conveying and encouraging, but it’s completely slipped my mind. The older I get, the less eloquent I get.

    Splurged Footnotes: On the topic of porn, though, I often find it’s even helpful to have an open dialogue of communication about it. That way, you’ll learn what a person may like or dislike about different forms of it. And by learning that and the reasons behind it, you’ll gain new perspectives on those in your life.

    It’s a good way to foster empathy and find common ground.

    #5 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]