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One of the best Infocom games ever made, Leather Goddess of Phobos a big hit when it was first released in 1986. So it is no surprise that it was chosen as one of five games to be updated and re-released as "Solid Gold" edition in 1988. The entire Solid Gold line was sadly not very well known, perhaps because most people assumed it was simply a re-release of the original game. This is not the case: the Solid Gold edition games include Infocom's "InvisiClues" hints as an in-game feature, the game engine ("Z machine") was updated to version 5 (which features a more versatile parser), and most bugs squashed. The Solid Gold therefore became the best edition of Infocom classics to own and play.
As to this particular Solid Gold release, Graeme Cree says it best in his review for SPAG: "In this risque imitation of 1930's pulp fiction, you are captured by the Leather Goddesses of Phobos. For some reason, you escape, and with your trusted companion Trent/Tiffany, you tour the Solar System searching for a collection of incongruous objects, which when put together will form a super-duper-anti-Leather-Goddesses-of-Phobos-attack-machine.
The game begins by patting itself on the back for the outraged reactions that it will likely induce in old fuddy-duddies, though truth be told it is not much dirtier than your average beer commercial (though it is much more clever). The game has three naughtiness modes for dealing with sex scenes: tame, suggestive, and lewd. In addition, Lewd mode has one or two 4-letter words, seemingly thrown in out of some sense of obligation, as they don't mesh very well with Meretzky's humour at all.
The game wonderfully recreates the feel of 30's pulp fiction, from the swordfight on the hull of the Space Battleship (without spacesuits, naturally), to the Sultan and other colourful characters you meet on Mars, to the delightfully contrived situation at the South Pole, to the marvelous running gag concerning the lucky escapes of your faithful companion. The final scene where you try to assemble your machine while under attack by all of the Leather Goddesses minions is one of the greatest moments in interactive fiction, and one that would be utterly impossible to reproduce with graphics. I generally enjoy games like Spellbreaker that spread the action over a wide area, and Leather Goddesses has one of the widest areas of all, with the action ranging between Venus, Mars, Phobos, Earth, and Saturn orbit.
Leather Goddesses has some of the best freebies of any Infocom game, including a 3-D comic book, 3-D glasses, and a scratch and sniff card. It was one of the five games made into a Solid Gold edition. The Solid Gold edition contains not only onscreen hints, but the ability to get through the difficult catacombs maze with a single special command [namely $CATACOMB, which lets you skip one of the most insidious puzzles in all of Infocom games - even worse than the baseball diamond in Zork 2 in my opinion]. The game also allows you to play as either a male or a female, depending on which restroom you enter at the beginning... All in all, Leather Goddesses of Phobos is one of Infocom's best efforts." In short, if you want a risqué game that evoke B-movie atmosphere and never take itself too seriously, Leather Goddess of Phobos is a very funny, very entertaining game that will keep you hooked. It's much better than Meretzsky's dismal sequel LGOP 2, which you can also find on this site.
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