Did anyone get you a computer program for Christmas? I bet it wasn’t as saucy as Interlude II, the hottest computer program of 1986.

Note how the poster above says program instead of game. Despite appearing to be some kind of romantic Mills & Boon-ish adventure, and being sold an advertised alongside other games, this wasn’t a “video game” like Leisure Suit Larry or Strip Poker. Interlude II, like its predecessor, was actually how nerds in 1986 googled “sex tips”, only with the added benefit of the game program asking you a series of questions beforehand so that it could give you a more suitable tip.

And it did not, ahem, fuck around. While the market for people using a computer for erotic guidance in the mid-80s would have been relatively small, and the technology primitive, there was no beating around the bush here.

Interlude II begins by asking you a series of questions, like who you are, if you’re ready for sex now or planning for later, and just how ready you are to knock boots.

Several days? Ambitious.

Once you’d entered all your answers and the program had built its profile of you, it would give you instructions for an “interlude”. Which sounds like it would be something terribly romantic, perhaps a twilight walk on the beach, or gentle kissing on the neck in front of a fireplace.

Instead, it was functional tips like “stick your finger in her butt”.

Or, if that doesn’t work, try patting her vagina and see if it does anything.

So, yes, from front to back this is about as 1986 as you were probably expecting. Below is a “gameplay” video showing Highretrogamelord going through the questionnaire and being presented with many ways in which he can give his special lady some massages and skin treatments.

And here’s the full copy of Interlude II’s advertisement:

Notice how it’s presented as something you do as a couple, something festive and fun. I guess developers Recreational Technology, from Texas, learned some lessons from the marketing of the first game, which went the more direct route in presenting the software.

It’s easy to laugh at this stuff now from the safety of modernity, but for the mid-80s and its technical limitations this is as good as anyone could have hoped for or expected. And really, in some ways it was better, because at least it was direct and to the point. Gold help any man with honest intentions who googles “stick finger in girls butt” in 2017.

Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.