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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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    Final Fantasy 15 doesn’t just have “open world gameplay”, it has a true open world – one continuous stretch of environment. “The world is connected by continuous land,” director Hajime Tabata told Gamespot. “If those areas were disconnected, it would feel distant from reality. You’ll find that you’ll be able to walk or drive or […]

  • Suikoden, Suikoden 2 EU PSN release date locked down

    Suikoden and its first sequel will be available via the European PlayStation Network soon. Suikoden publisher Konami has confirmed a February 4 release date for the two RPG classics. CONFIRMED! #Suikoden I & II EU #PSN release date is FEB 4TH! http://t.co/ObOIvZDJAK pic.twitter.com/aM760R2Gez — Konami UK (@KonamiUK) January 22, 2015 It’s been a long wait […]

  • Dying Light physical release set for February 20, says Gamestop Italy

    Dying Light’s physical release has been delayed, but at least one European retailer thinks it knows what’s going on. Dying Light’s physical release date is February 20, according to Gamestop Italy. According to Tmag (Italian, via Google Translate), there’s been no response from local representatives of publisher Warner Bros. Although the digital release will take […]

  • Free online multiplayer update now available for Trials Fusion

    Online multiplayer is now available as a free update to Trials Fusion. The online component includes three new four to eight player multiplayer modes on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and up to four players on Xbox 360. These are the three new gameplay modes included with the update can be found through a previous […]

  • This video for indie survival horror Monstrum features all in-game footage

    Monstrum launches on Steam Early Access January 29 and today, you can have a look at a video for it featuring all in-game footage. Developed by Team Junkfish the survival horror game set on a derelict cargo ship which combines roguelike elements, such as procedurally generated levels and permadeath thanks to AI driven predators. Monstrum […]

  • Here’s quick look at Dead Rising: Watchtower starring Rob Riggle

    A short look at the film adaptation of Dead Rising has surfaced. Transformers director Lorenzo di Bonaventura headed the project and it was directed by Zach Lipovsky. It stars comedy actor Rob Riggle as Frank West, along with Academy Awards nominated actress Virginia Madsen (Candyman, Sideways), Dennis Haysbert (24), Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time), and […]

  • A Kickstarter for Underworld Ascendant will launch next month

    OtherSide Entertainment, an independent games studio fronted by Paul Neurath, has announced it’s developing Underworld Ascendant. Neurath is the founder and CEO of the new studio ad his resume includes franchises such as Thief, System Shock and 1992′s Underworld Underworld. The studio hopes Underworld Ascendant will “innovate and revitalize” the fantasy genre. More details will […]

  • APB Reloaded heading to PS4 and Xbox One during Q2 2015

    APB Reloaded will indeed be heading to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during late Q2 this year, which puts its release sometime around the end of June. Reloaded Productions announced in September 2014 it was working on bringing the free-to-play PC title to consoles during the Digital Media Wire event in New York City. The […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 2 -The Lost Lords arrives in February – video

    Release dates for Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series have been announced. A new video offering a “first look” has also appeared. Below is the story synopsis, which you may want to skip if you haven’t played Episode One. House Forrester is in disarray. Their liege lord and his heir are dead, and Ironrath […]

  • The open beta for Nosgoth has gone live

    Consider this a friendly reminder: the Nosgoth open beta has started. Announced last week, the open beta can be accessed through the official website. Once you link your Steam account, just log into the service and start downloading the client. Everyone that plays the tester will receive double XP through January 28. More information is […]

  • First gameplay footage of Homeworld Remastered Collection being shown this weekend

    Homeworld Remastered Collection news and the first gameplay footage of Gearbox Software’s remake will be revealed at PAX South this weekend. The news and video will be shown during the Inside Gearbox Software panel at 10.30am CST on Sunday. It will also be streamed on Twitch. Gearbox is hoping to have Homeworld Remastered released by […]

  • Latest Final Fantasy Type-0 HD video delves more into combat

    Square Enix has released its latest Orience News video for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, and it provides insight into character combat styles and techniques. In the video you will see the elite combat force of Class Zero going deeper into battle to improve their skills. Combat is party-based and each of the three characters in […]

  • Something really cool happens when you finish Resident Evil HD *spoiler*

    Those who finish Resident Evil HD will be met with a really nice surprise at the end. If you wish to find out what it is on your own, DO NOT head below the break. You have been warned. According to images posted by Reddit user omeganemesis28, a thank you message from Resident Evil creator […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain release date “should be” announced soon

    A release date for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain “should be able” to be announced soon, according to the latest Kojima Station webcast. New information on the game will also be announced at the Taipei Game Show on January 31, per Game Spark (thanks, Gemtasu). “I know you’ve all been eagerly await for […]

  • Punch-Out!!, more Throwback offerings arrive on Nintendo US eShop

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Punch-Out!!, Citizens of Earth and Part Two of the Throwback Sale. Here’s the entire update: Nintendo eShop releases Punch-Out!! (originally for Wii) – also 50% off until January 29 Citizens of Earth – introductory price of $11.99 until January 27 Breezeblox (Wii) Midnight (Wii […]

  • The Witcher Battle Arena has arrived on the App Store and Google Play

    The Witcher Battle Arena, CD Projekt RED and Fuero Games’ mobile MOBA, has been released. In Battle Arena, two three-hero teams fight it out as they try to capture and hold conquest points. The game features “no pay-to-win elements”, instead it contains a “player-friendly monetization system.” Every item and functionality can be unlocked entirely through […]

  • Second wave of Star Wars titles arrive on GOG, third wave next week

    The second wave of Star Wars titles will arrive on GOG.com today with more coming January 27. Today you can pick up the following: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D (digital distribution premiere) Star Wars Rebellion (digital distribution premiere) Star Wars Empire at War: Gold Pack On January 27, the final three games of this wave […]

  • If Microsoft is serious about PC games, Xbox One should be the real Steam Machine

    Forget the magic space goggles. Maybe Valve doesn’t have the wherewithal to realise PC gaming’s TV dream, but Microsoft holds all the keys. If Microsoft really wants to get into PC gaming full-time, it needs to get around the table with Mr Newell and its platinum chequebook. “It’s time for us to talk about gaming […]

  • Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 releases on Steam next week

    Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 will be released on Steam for PC next week. The PC version of the was announced earlier this month and contains upgraded graphics, runs in 1080p, and has both Japanese and English audio. It will release on January 28 for $14.99. Fairy Fencer F and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 also coming […]

  • Take a look at the controls and special abilities in The Order: 1886

    The Order: 1886 has a new trailer available that highlights the game’s controls and reveals the two special abilities the main protagonist has at his disposal. The game uses a similar control scheme to other shooters, but just in case you wanted to see more gameplay, we’ve got just the thing. The most interesting parts […]

  • These elderly people are better at GTA 5 than you’d expect

    Do old people get video games? Namely something known for its violence like GTA? Well, you’re about to find out. The latest REACT production sits a few elderly men and women in a room and lets them play GTA 5. The results are not what you’d expect, they start off getting a feel for the […]

  • More major Microsoft titles will be coming to PC

    Microsoft will bring more of its franchises to PC. Following on from yesterday’s big Windows stream, Microsoft has released a full recap on Xbox Wire. In the blog post, the firm hid a small bit of news revealing that Fable Legends will not be the only title to come to PC. “Today we announced that […]

  • Someone is attempting to recreate Dark Souls’ Lordran in Minecraft

    Lordran, the land of the ancient lords will soon be explorable in Minecraft thanks to a passionate modder. Davweed is a talented modder attempting to recreate the entire world of Lordran in Minecraft. Lordran is the land where the entire Dark Souls game is set. The goal is to make it a 1:1 scale of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous is getting Community Goals with update 1.1 – all the details

    Patch 1.1 is Elite: Dangerous’ first major update. Developer Frontier has detailed Community Goals, the big change coming with the patch, and more. We were told last week that big additions are coming with patch 1.1, due in February. Today, we learn in more detail what those features are. Namely, what the developer is calling […]

  • Sunset Overdrive, Skyrim and Dead Rising 3 highlight this week’s Deals with Gold

    A new week, a new set of deals for Xbox Live Gold subscribers and we’ve got the full list. Major Nelson posted the deals which are live now and run through Monday, January 26. Highlights include Sunset Overdrive, Dead Rising 3, Skyrim, Final Fantasy 13-2 and more. Check the full list below. Xbox One Dead […]

  • Survarium: 10,000 FREE Premium account keys to give away

    We have 10,000 codes to give away for MMOFPS Survarium, granting the player a Premium account for 24 hours along with 5,000 Silver coins. Each key gives the player a Premium account for 24 hours along with 5,000 Silver in-game currency. A Premium account gives you 50 percent more experience, income and reputation for 24 […]

  • “I don’t like people thinking we’re doing underhanded, dirty shit,” says Evolve dev

    Despite what it looks like, Evolve developers did not intend to give out the wrong signals when it comes to the game’s DLC plan. Evolve creative director Phil Robb spoke to Destructoid in an interview that was conducted late last year about the studio’s approach to DLC, map packs and more. Robb’s idea is that […]

  • Clock Tower spiritual successor Night Cry gets first screens

    Night Cry is coming along nicely and today we get our first look at it. Ever since the announcement of Project Scissors (at the time) last September, and then the name change to Night Cry, we’ve been waiting to see what the game looks like, especially since it’s developed with mobile platforms in mind. Today, […]

  • Tekken X Street Fighter is still happening, 40 people working on it

    Tekken X Street Fighter is definitely not vaporware. A team of 40 developers is currently working on it, according to director Katushiro Harada. Harada was interviewed by Polygon. In the interview, he touched on many topics, one of which is the status of the seemingly-never-coming-out Tekken X Street Fighter. “It’s very difficult to talk about,” […]

  • From Game of Thrones to Borderlands: all of Telltale’s adventure games rated

    Telltale Games has an impressive back catalogue of licensed adventure games to its name, and we have opinions about all of them. Note that this rundown doesn’t include bundles, the non-adventure games or games published by Telltale but created by other developers. It’s also got a fair bit of speculation in it, since at least […]

  • There is probably a new Battletoads game coming

    If you’ve watched last night’s Windows presentation you knew you recognised that logo on Phil Spencer’s t-shirt. Wearing a t-shirt with a logo of an upcoming game is an antic we’ve come to expect from Xbox boss Phil Spencer now. Based on that, we wouldn’t be alone in predicting that a new Battletoads game is […]

  • Here’s a short, 60fps trailer for DmC: Definitive Edition

    DmC: Definitive Edition has a new video available that shows the game running at 60 frames-per-second. Capcom has put out a short new trailer for the Definitive Edition of DmC: Devil May Cry that takes a look at different stages and boss fights. The video begs to watched in 1080p60 quality, if your connection can […]

  • Xbox One to PC streaming targeting 1080p, 60fps

    Microsoft has revealed that it’s looking to achieve 1080p resolution at 60 frames-per-second when the Xbox One game streaming launches later this year. The question of what final resolution and framerate Xbox One game streaming will operate at was on a lot of people’s minds when the demo was shown. Thankfully, Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra has […]

  • Microsoft is looking at offering PC to Xbox streaming

    Having announced Xbox One to PC streaming as part of its Windows event last night, Microsoft said that making the process a two-way street is on the cards. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer sat down to do a group interview following the Windows event and talked a little bit about the firm’s plans for streaming, including a […]

  • Watch John Romero play Doom

    John Romero made DOOM, and now you can watch him play it, dropping many a delightful gem of insight regarding one of the most important shooters of all time. This video was organised by Double Fine as part of its Devs Play series, a thing I only just discovered and now want to marathon all […]

  • World of Speed has gotten fairly pretty over the past year

    World of Speed has produced a new trailer, showing off the racing MMO’s progress over the past year. Announced one year ago, World of Speed is looking pretty damn shiny now. Check it out in this trailer, which introduces the Mountain Spiral Road location and teases several yet to be revealed. World of Speed comes […]

  • Minecraft user data leaked in plain text – change your passwords

    Minecraft users should change their passwords and those of any accounts using the same log-in details. Minecraft’s user data servers have apparently been compromised, with user names and passwords leaked online in plain text. 1,800 Mojang accounts were affected. The news comes via German source Heise and The Guardian and has been treated quite seriously […]

  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will commence filming in August

    The sixth Resident Evil movie is back on track. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will begin filming in August, having been delayed to accomodate star Milla Jovovich’s pregnancy. In a Facebook post, Jovovich said she’s currently being very mindful of gaining enough weight to ensure a healthy birth for her second child, without the risk […]

  • Nintendo bosses “do not really understand modern gaming”, says former executive

    Former Nintendo executive Dan Adelman has provided frank insight into the Japanese platform holder’s inner workings. Adelman, who was one of Nintendo’s most important developer liaisons, left in August 2014. One of the first things he did was say that Nintendo had issued a gag order on his social media use, and shortly thereafter called […]

  • Sony’s 10% apology discount doesn’t apply to pre-orders

    Sony has updated the terms and conditions of its apology discount to exclude pre-orders. PSN members have been offered a 10% discount voucher as an apology for downtime over the holidays due to DDoS attacks. In an update to the PlayStation Blog announcement post, Sony clarified that you can’t use this for pre-orders. So. That […]

  • 343 to beta test Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking fix

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection is still broken, believe it or not. The next Halo: The Master Chief Collection update is, like most of the others so far, designed to resolve the shooter collection’s ongoing matchmaking woes. 343 Industries is determined to get it right, apparently, as it’s gone so far as to elect to […]