I’m not gonna beat around the bush here. This is a game about wieners. Genital Jousting uses a penis as a stand-in for any number of persons or items. The core gameplay centers on maneuvering your penis’ head (or in some cases, your butt/balls) around virtual worlds and competitive arenas. As you direct the head, the shaft and nuts will be dragged along. If the subject matter is concerning to you already, it would be best if you jumped off this boat now, because it’s gonna sail into some darker waters.
Developed by the folks at Free Lives, the team behind the exceptional retro-styled action shooter BroForce, Genital Jousting is at a bit of a physics sandbox at the core, or at least a sandbox full of wieners. The game presents its subject matter without any hint of subtlety. Within moments of launching the game, you will be greeted by a rather meek disclaimer and then immediately be subjected to a big bag of physics-enabled dicks falling onto the platform that is the main menu.
Genital Jousting began life as a Steam Early Access title. Upon launch, it offered multiplayer modes that were available both online and offline. With today’s update and official release, the team at Free Lives are including an all new Story Mode for players. While I had access to the game for about a week prior to today, I was unable to successfully find an populated multiplayer lobby to try out any of the multiplayer content offered. I did not have another person locally to give the offline modes a try, either. Because of this, I will focus on my experience with the new Story Mode.
The Story of Me
Genital Jousting’s Story Mode presents the story of John, a near-thirtysomething wiener struggling with an existential crisis. The entirety of the experience is conveyed by the action on screen and by an omniscient narrator. The female narrator gives the proceedings a bit of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy vibe. As John is just a wiener, he has no real face, eyes, or other means of communicating emotions or reactions, so the narration is a necessity for fleshing out the character.
John could be any one of us. He appears to have his life in order with a steady job, his own place, and a functional social life. As is often the case in modern society, John finds himself stuck in routine. He wonders about his purpose in life or why he continues to be single. The modern man’s struggle with existentialism has already been covered (and with much more skill) by books such as Fight Club, but this is the first time it’s been done entirely with wieners.
In the place of people, you will find big juicy lap hogs as stand-ins. Literally everyone in the game, male or female, is a penis. I will admit that there were often times that I could not tell if a given character was a male or female penis, unless they were being directly interacted with. I’m unsure if there is an implied commentary with this design choice, but I found it rather pleasant that everyone was more or less equal other than their action towards each other.
A Regular John
John lives in a regular place, with a bed, shower, kitchenette, and an extra room for his computer. His office is like any you would find out in the real world, with desks, computers, and fluorescent lighting. You will be tasked with navigating a few pounds of tube steak through John’s house and around town as part of the game’s greater narrative.
John is increasingly unhappy with his current situation and feels burdened by his impending high school reunion. The game lightly delves into John’s high school history via several flashbacks, all of which revolve around his interpretation of slights against him by his peers. In the present day, he feels he must arrive at the reunion with a lady in hand so that he can either impress or one-up the attending group.
The bulk of Genital Jousting’s Story Mode revolves around John’s attempts to get himself a date for the reunion. Despite a growing sense of self-doubt and hopelessness, John pushes forward through one excruciating failure after another. Expect lots of wienering about town, working out at the gym, using the penis version of Tinder, and ingesting lots of alcohol via the butthole.
Let Me Be Your Backdoor Man
In a game that is ostensibly built around the penis, there is a monstrous amount of time spent keistering a conglomeration of just about anything you can think of. Like anyone else, John needs to brush his teeth, though his approach is a bit different than mine. John simply spreads his nuts and absorbs the toothbrush, which then jumps to life and really kind of jackhammers whatever happens to be inside his large intestine. I mean, there could be teeth up there, I guess.
I found myself having a really good time experiencing all the jokes found in the small details around the physics interactions and the heavy supply of non-subtle dick jokes. Because I’m still 13 years old, I find a wiener smoking cigarettes to be pretty cool. The greaser-esque wieners that loiter in the town’s alleys and street corners make me chuckle every time I encounter them. Not everything works to proper comedic effect and many of the gameplay interactions are less than stellar, but as a whole (hole), the experience was pleasant enough for me. Well, except for the John Wayne Bobbit stuff.
Nuts (And Butts) and Bolts
As a PC game, it checks all the important boxes that you would like to see. It runs very smoothly and looks pretty good for what it is. While I mostly used the Xbox One S controller, the keyboard and mouse input was fine. While I had lots of difficulty finding populated multiplayer games, the few I participated in were free of latency and everything loaded quickly. A small installation footprint means you can download and install it quickly almost anywhere for a quick party game, assuming you have enough controllers.
The multiplayer modes and offerings are plentiful and more than a few of them are downright excellent. My biggest issue is that many of the game types begin and end so quickly that it is incredibly hard (lol) to tell what is going on half the time. I often had no idea what I was supposed to do at the start of several of the matches. Generally, most of them revolve around splitting your opponents backside with the head of your penis, but a few others offered nice departures. The wiener dog wrangling game in particular was really funny and fun to play.
The game is seeing a price increase to $6.99 in tandem with its official 1.0 release. I personally found the story mode to be worthy of that entry fee. If this is the kind of thing you could see your friends playing at a party, the new price is a no-brainer. While a non-insignificant portion of the enjoyment comes from the shock factor, there is enough going on here to justify the asking price once that novelty has gone soft. A case of beer and 7 consenting friends could make Genital Jousting a real backdoor smash. This really could be the Shacknews Chatty Game of the Year 2018...