A beginner's guide to the best porn games: What to play and what you should know

Playing adult games with a partner can be just as fun as playing them solo. Image: bob al-greene / mashable All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. By Jess Joho2020-08-11 02:21:42 UTC August 8 is International Female Orgasm Day, and we're celebrating with an entire week dedicated to exploring the business and pleasure of porn. Porn video games come with a lot of stigma, and understandably so. But if you push through all that, you'll find there actually are some really good, very NSFW adult games out there.  It won't surprise you that many of the most popular adult games share similar issues to regular mainstream Tube porn - aggressive heternormativity and a near-exclusive catering to a cis, male gaze. Still, the world of adult sex games is far more expansive, diverse, and varied than people think. And, finding the right erotic game for you can help open you up to new aspects of your sexuality you'd never thought about before. We've put together a list of all the best porn games. But before we get into recommendations, here are a few important things to know about the sex game landscape as you dive in. The erotic potential of porn video games "Video games are one of the most powerful mediums for active fantasy fulfillment as well as learning about one's own desires without any of the shame, rejection, fear, and sometimes simple unavailability of real-life sexual encounters," according to Zsuzsa Jakab, founder of a new sex games startup, Dreamtik, and co-vice chair of the Romance and Sexuality in Games group of IGDA. "Compared to porn, games provide the possibility for player agency that can feel very empowering, not to mention the sheer amount of potential variety for lovers and erotic situations that wouldn't be practical with real actors." And unlike the fugue state many of us enter while passively consuming videos on a tube site, the interactivity and fantasy scenarios in an adult video game can allow for more active exploration of your sexuality. That's especially important for folks who don't see their desires reflected in regular mainstream porn. [embedded content] There's even an indie adult game renaissance of sorts in the making. On platforms like Patreon, top adult games have thousands of fans paying monthly subscriptions to support their favorite creators. There are hundreds of thousands of porn games on the internet, with dozens of new ones cropping up every day. But there isn't a good all-encompassing central place to discover all their varieties. Censorship also holds adult games back in terms of their ability to reach a large audience, which continues to be an issue on major platforms like Steam to this day.  The ethical questions around adult games Aside from Steam, Nutaku is the other biggest porn gaming hub. It's a site exclusively for adult games and best known for hentai-style free-to-play browser games. Both platforms are dominated by the heteronormative, cis male fan service-y gaze. While those games aren't inherently bad and appeal to a variety of people for different reasons, the overwhelming ubiquity of it does make it harder for sex games to rise above the widespread stigma.  A representative at Nutaku said the company has been working to diversify its online porn game library, though. The site now has a dedicated LGBTQ section and an upcoming redesign with sexual orientation and identity filters. It's also set aside a $5 million fund to support more inclusive adult sex games, leading to titles like Crush Crush and Blush Blush.  However, there are other ethical concerns related to Nutaku's parent company, Mindgeek. (Mindgeek owns most of the major tube porn sites, like Pornhub and Xvideos, which have faced numerous accusations of unethical behaviors.) While it's a separate division of the company, Nutaku itself came under fire in 2016 for games that pirated others' artwork.  There are other complex ethical concerns to consider when it comes to adult gaming content, like representations of underage sex. But at the very least, porn games avoid the worst real-life harm of tube sites, like revenge porn. In our roundup of the best porn games, we wanted to represent the full, diverse spectrum and variety of porn games. In our roundup of the best porn games, we wanted to represent the full, diverse spectrum and variety of options. Of course, it's impossible to review everything. We're defining porn games here as those made predominantly to titillate. For sex games more geared toward explorations of intimacy, check out the work of Nina Freeman, Robert Yang, and Knife Sisters' creator Bobbi A Sand. We also did not include VR porn games (which we've covered elsewhere) and were limited to the games we had access to through free demos or review codes provided by designers.  While we've played each game on our main list, we can't vouch for the entirety of thei

A beginner's guide to the best porn games: What to play and what you should know
Playing adult games with a partner can be just as fun as playing them solo. Image: bob al-greene / mashable All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. By Jess Joho2020-08-11 02:21:42 UTC August 8 is International Female Orgasm Day, and we're celebrating with an entire week dedicated to exploring the business and pleasure of porn. Porn video games come with a lot of stigma, and understandably so. But if you push through all that, you'll find there actually are some really good, very NSFW adult games out there.  It won't surprise you that many of the most popular adult games share similar issues to regular mainstream Tube porn - aggressive heternormativity and a near-exclusive catering to a cis, male gaze. Still, the world of adult sex games is far more expansive, diverse, and varied than people think. And, finding the right erotic game for you can help open you up to new aspects of your sexuality you'd never thought about before. We've put together a list of all the best porn games. But before we get into recommendations, here are a few important things to know about the sex game landscape as you dive in. The erotic potential of porn video games "Video games are one of the most powerful mediums for active fantasy fulfillment as well as learning about one's own desires without any of the shame, rejection, fear, and sometimes simple unavailability of real-life sexual encounters," according to Zsuzsa Jakab, founder of a new sex games startup, Dreamtik, and co-vice chair of the Romance and Sexuality in Games group of IGDA. "Compared to porn, games provide the possibility for player agency that can feel very empowering, not to mention the sheer amount of potential variety for lovers and erotic situations that wouldn't be practical with real actors." And unlike the fugue state many of us enter while passively consuming videos on a tube site, the interactivity and fantasy scenarios in an adult video game can allow for more active exploration of your sexuality. That's especially important for folks who don't see their desires reflected in regular mainstream porn. [embedded content] There's even an indie adult game renaissance of sorts in the making. On platforms like Patreon, top adult games have thousands of fans paying monthly subscriptions to support their favorite creators. There are hundreds of thousands of porn games on the internet, with dozens of new ones cropping up every day. But there isn't a good all-encompassing central place to discover all their varieties. Censorship also holds adult games back in terms of their ability to reach a large audience, which continues to be an issue on major platforms like Steam to this day.  The ethical questions around adult games Aside from Steam, Nutaku is the other biggest porn gaming hub. It's a site exclusively for adult games and best known for hentai-style free-to-play browser games. Both platforms are dominated by the heteronormative, cis male fan service-y gaze. While those games aren't inherently bad and appeal to a variety of people for different reasons, the overwhelming ubiquity of it does make it harder for sex games to rise above the widespread stigma.  A representative at Nutaku said the company has been working to diversify its online porn game library, though. The site now has a dedicated LGBTQ section and an upcoming redesign with sexual orientation and identity filters. It's also set aside a $5 million fund to support more inclusive adult sex games, leading to titles like Crush Crush and Blush Blush.  However, there are other ethical concerns related to Nutaku's parent company, Mindgeek. (Mindgeek owns most of the major tube porn sites, like Pornhub and Xvideos, which have faced numerous accusations of unethical behaviors.) While it's a separate division of the company, Nutaku itself came under fire in 2016 for games that pirated others' artwork.  There are other complex ethical concerns to consider when it comes to adult gaming content, like representations of underage sex. But at the very least, porn games avoid the worst real-life harm of tube sites, like revenge porn. In our roundup of the best porn games, we wanted to represent the full, diverse spectrum and variety of porn games. In our roundup of the best porn games, we wanted to represent the full, diverse spectrum and variety of options. Of course, it's impossible to review everything. We're defining porn games here as those made predominantly to titillate. For sex games more geared toward explorations of intimacy, check out the work of Nina Freeman, Robert Yang, and Knife Sisters' creator Bobbi A Sand. We also did not include VR porn games (which we've covered elsewhere) and were limited to the games we had access to through free demos or review codes provided by designers.  While we've played each game on our main list, we can't vouch for the entirety of their contents - so always proceed with caution and at your own discretion. We chose games to review through lists of the top NSFW games on Itch.io, Patreon, and Steam. We also asked for recommendations from experts in the field, like Daily Dot reporter Ana Valens, former Kotaku sex games columnist Kate Gray, sex tech software engineer Kyle Machulis, Robert Yang, and Zsuzsa Jakab. Our list is in no way definitive or complete. But we hope everyone can find something to get off to here. At the very least, we can promise you'll experience something beyond your boring old porn routine. Image: Ghosthug Games What it is: Ghosthug Games’ beloved Hardcoded is not only the height of queer visual novel erotica, but also showcases the power of adult games as more intimate and exploratory porn. Valens described the game as being centered around “an android trans girl who runs away from her oppressive life serving human needs and becomes friends with a group of queers living in a cyberpunk dystopian city. There's some sort of virus going around making everyone really, really horny. The game is part cyberpunk adventure, part trans girl story, and part queer porn game. It's really kinky and hot and fun and there's a little bit for every girl in it, although it's best enjoyed by queer trans women I think.” Smut meter: Erotica with in-depth plot and intimate narrative Gender, orientation, pairings, kinks, fetishes: Primarily trans women lesbian sex scenes with a bend toward sci-fi kinks. Price: $1 monthly subscription on Patreon, or free demo. [embedded content] What it is: In a lot of ways, Monster Girl Island is the quintessential male gaze-y porn game where you do a bunch of menial tasks to receive sex as a reward. At the same time, it also boasts a beautiful world, engaging characters, an undeniable charm, and hot sex scenes that render the game pretty irresistible. You're a human boy who washes up on the shore of an island populated by various species of fantasy creature/robot babes. They hilariously treat you with disdain, disregarding you as subhuman. So while you run around doing mindless errands for them, the girls are all having their own fascinating storylines you’re only tangential to. In summary, this game makes you a simp and — coupled with the self-aware humor — that’s what makes it so winning. Smut meter: Porn with minimal plot and gameplay Gender, orientation, inclusivity, pairings, kinks, fetishes: The game is catered to the cis heterosexual male gaze with no options for customization. It’s plenty kinky, with some light BDSM and fetishes for fantasy/sci-fi human hybrid creatures. Price: The prologue demo is free, and the full build is available to Patreon supporters at the $5 tier. Image: achat What it is: We’re putting AChat here as a representative of the online multiplayer genre of porn games, with open world hubs for cybersex interactions that range from the flirty to the hardcore. While AChat was all we had immediate access to, other games of this variety came more highly recommended by our expert. Machulis suggested the more expansive, customizable, and graphically advanced 3DXChat (which requires a monthly subscription). Jakab recommended Red Light Center, which appears more inclusive by offering transgender customization options. In AChat, you can initiate sex scenes with a partner and, if they consent, create a scene by choosing environments, positions, speed, arousal, etc. All in all, despite the inherent awkwardness of virtual sex with strangers through glitchy dolls, there’s an excitement and aliveness to role-playing with IRL people. It can be especially useful during the pandemic, when many folks are abstaining from real-life sexual encounters for public safety. Smut meter: Porn without plot but fascinating multiplayer mode social interaction Gender, orientation, inclusivity, pairings, kinks, fetishes: These types of games are usually great because of the freedom to customize your body and experiences to fit your identity and desires. Unfortunately, AChat limits you to a binary sex, though you can choose between a straight, lesbian/gay, or bisexual orientation. You can also select your favorite sexual acts, ranging from the vanilla to more fetish and kink stuff. Price: The initial download is free but only offers limited customization options that you unlock with in-game currency. [embedded content] What it is: The cream of the cock of male gay dating sims, if you will, Coming Out On Top is bursting with personality and really, really hot dudes. Playing as a good-looking senior undergrad at Orlin University, this choose-your-own-sexcapade lets you have a variety of relationships with a spectrum of “types” of men. Robert Yang equates it to an NC-17 version of another popular gay dating sim, Dream Daddy, which he views as important but critiques for how, “there’s barely any sex in it, which is weird when basically all the gay daddies I know consider sex and physical intimacy to be a very important part of their lives. Coming Out On Top follows a similar silly wholesome romantic comedy approach, but invests more deeply in varied and complicated sexual scenarios.” For those interested in a more gay male-focused adult game, you should also definitely check out Strange Flesh, which has Robert Yang’s seal of approval as an “elegant unification of BDSM themes, gay guilt, and the beat 'em up genre, with gorgeous pixel art sex animations.” Smut meter: Porn with some fun and wholesome plot and intimacy Gender, orientation, inclusivity, pairings, kinks, fetishes: ~ Gay all the way ~ with narrative choices in terms of sexual positions, partners, and kinks. Price: You can download the free demo here, or pay $14.99 for the full game. What it is: While we only had access to Operation Lovecraft free demo, Fallen Doll: Origin is a series of poke-the-doll porn games by Project Helius. These types of games give you female body models to play with by customizing their clothing, bodies, and environments along with sexual interactions you can script and let play out however you want. The Lovecraftian demo is definitely the kinkier side of this type of sex simulator, though the original build has more vanilla options. You can try even more vanilla poke-the-doll games like Girlvania as well if this one’s too extreme. Machulis also suggested the much more polished poke-the-doll games offered by Thrixxx. Smut meter: Niche fetish porn with literally zero plot Gender, orientation, inclusivity, pairings, kinks, fetishes: Caters to the heterosexual cis male gaze, but has customization for pairings of various sexual orientations. Very kink heavy, including BDSM and sci-fi monster-bestiality fetishes. Price: Free demo, with a Patreon donation of $24 providing access to the full early-access build as well as Origins.  [embedded content] What it is: Of all the titles on our list, Cloud Meadow is the most full-fledged video game with lots of porn thrown into the mix. You play as either Evan or Eve after arriving in the magical town of Cloverton, where humans and monsterfolk live, work, and fuck alongside each other. Your main role is farmer, but to help the town thrive you must also explore unknown lands, engage in turn-based battle combat, and can even breed with the monsterfolk to create more battle companions. It’s the most deliciously unholy trinity of Stardew Valley meets Final Fantasy meets monster porn. If you thought you never wanted to have sex with a monster, then you definitely haven’t met Cloud Meadow’s busty but gentle ogress or the town’s obscenely hot and ripped Yeti. Smut meter: Equal parts dating sim, farming simulator, RPG, and porn Gender, orientation, inclusivity, pairings, kinks, fetishes: One of the most inclusive entries on the list, you can customize your character with binary gender presentation, pronouns, but also separately choose your genitalia. You have your pick of the litter when it comes to sexual partners and orientation too, with kinks ranging from missionary to pegging and BDSM. Price: The free demo includes the first seven days, while the full early access build costs $19.99. Image: fek / rack 2 What it is: In Rack 2 you are a scientist who must fuck everything — you know, for science and experiments and stuff. Oh also, everyone is an anthropomorphized animal with huge jugs and junk. Although this game is for furries who like bondage, it’s hard to call Rack 2 niche when it’s one of the most well-backed and beloved porn game series on Patreon. It encapsulates how porn games give marginalized sexual kinks and orientations a space to really explore their desires. Honestly, I recommend everyone try it even if you’re not into furry porn. The sheer thoroughness of Rack 2’s customization can teach you so much about fetishes, their communities, terms, what might unexpectedly turn you on, or (equally as important) what your boundaries are. That’s not to mention that it boasts some of the most robust gameplay systems and mechanics around the sex itself. Each encounter comes with loads of information on that partner’s unique kinks you can ask them about, all feeding into meters that track whether they’re feeling friendly or angry, submissive or dominant. Each sexual act also affects a partners’ anticipation, stimulation, arousal meters. You must balance these all out for successful sessions. Smut meter: Porn without much plot but lots of engaging sexual gameplay Gender, orientation, inclusivity, pairings, kinks, fetishes: Rack 2 lets you customize your avatar according to sex organs, species, binary gender pronouns, various gender identities, body types, fetish, and orientations. The list of kinks and fetishes are too long to name, but obviously furry is the main one, with a secondary focus on BDSM.  Price: The full early access build is available to Patreons at the $10 tier or on Itch.io for the same price. You can try the first Rack on your browser here and another one of creator Fek’s browser furry games, Bedplay, here. Image: KISS / S-court / custom order main 3d2 What it is: Another recommendation from Valens, she described it as one “of the best 3D hentai games available” for its extensive customization allowing players to create their ideal girls. Custom Order Made 3D2 is also more than a poke-the-doll style game, offering a great balance of porn and gameplay. It’s also a management sim, since you play as the owner of a high-class brothel that must get the establishment out of debt. That entails not only hiring and customizing maids who entertain clients, but also developing sexual relationships with them that affect their stats, fetishes, and performance abilities. Smut meter: Porn embedded into pretty extensive management sim gameplay Gender, orientation, inclusivity, pairings, kinks, fetishes: The game caters to heterosexual cis men, limiting players to a male-presenting silhouette whose body type you can customize. Sexual acts are left up to your choice, and range from the vanilla to the kinky. Price: The full game is $40 on Steam. [embedded content] What it is: This erotic, kinky, queer visual novel by Christine Love and the Love Conquers All Games team is a indie sex game with rare mainstream recognition and acclaim. It’s not hard to see why. Ladykiller is gorgeously designed and well-written, as well as a rallying cry for slutty girls everywhere thirsting for games that cater to women’s perspectives. As a crossdressing lesbian impersonating your fuckboy identical twin brother, you’re forced into a game of social manipulation. You must fool his classmates for the duration of a seven-day cruise, which is especially tough because many of them want to have sex with you. Ladykiller’s choice system is uniquely complex, with your choices (some left implicit) heavily influencing available partners, sexual encounters, storylines, and outcomes. While some vanilla stuff can be found in Ladykiller, as the title implies, it excels at BDSM scenes, with your two main squeezes representing dom versus sub powerplay dynamics. While a (now deleted) scene in the game was embroiled in controversy, unlike many other titles on this list, consent is deeply embedded into Ladykiller from a narrative and mechanical level. As Yang puts it, “I've always admired Christine Love's singular ability to be literary, lewd, and mischievous all at once.” Smut meter: Well-written erotica-porn with a fair amount of plot and mechanical depth Gender, orientation, inclusivity, pairings, kinks, fetishes: Gender presentation, queer identity, and BDSM are at the heart of this lesbian-centered story. Characters are often not defined by a set-in-stone gender binary or sexual orientation, though, instead given intricate graphs detailing their proclivity for (among other things) crossdressing, lies, social status, and sluttiness. Content warnings include rope bondage, impact play, humiliation, and transactional sex. Price: There’s a free teaser you can try, and the complete game costs $19.99. Honorable mentions to also check out Skyrim Romance Mod, recommended by Jakab for catering to the straight female gaze: "While the primary purpose of this is [having] relationships, it has some steamy explicit sex scenes." No Thank You!! recommended by Jakab for catering to the gay male gaze and yaoi lovers, a genre of fiction popularized in Japan focused on homoerotic relationships that many heterosexual women enjoy. NSFWare, recommended by the writer of this article and also Robert Yang because "the use of rotoscoped Pornhub clips gives these sex acts a very uncanny quality — and I think it's still sexy even though it's not realistic or representational." Dungeon Tail, recommended by Valens as a "very high-quality furry visual novel about furry adventurers trying to complete a dungeon exploration exam... and having a lot of sex with each other along the way. It's animated and the sex scenes are A+." Quidget the Wonderweiner, recommended by Kate Gray, as a point-and-click adventure game "with ridiculously silly 'science experiments,' animated sexy bits, and lots of fetch-quest business to be done to earn said sexy bits." Various stuff on Milovana, described by Machulis as "webteases that are kinda choose-your-own-adventuress involving porn, and usually JOI (Jack Off Instruction) elements." Game Haptics Router, created and recommended by Machulis as a "system that allows players to reroute gamepad rumble to sex toys, which means any game could be a porn game based on how it's played, the content the player is interested in, etc." You can even check out a video demo of it being used in Animal Crossing.  Let's block ads! (Why?)