Oh, boy. Developed by United Pixtures and published by Kirin Entertainment for the Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, it pushed the limit of what an FMV game could be. Not because it was especially artful or delved into complex themes, but because it was essentially a slideshow of photos with some narration. The story follows John (played by Edward J. Foster) and Jane (played by Jeanne Basone), a plumber and a college student respectively, who are being pressured by their parents to settle down. As chance would have it, John meets Jane in a parking lot and falls head over heels, believing her to be the most beautiful person on Earth. However, Jane is on her way to an interview for a new job and John has a date with a different woman that evening named Amy. Because he is so in love with Jane, John decides not to go to work and waits for her in the parking lot until her interview is over.
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Jane arrives for her interview but the boss tells her that the position was removed and Jane becomes irate, as she's a perfect candidate for the opening. The boss then asks her to take off her clothes if she wants a job at the company. When she refuses, he attacks her, but John rushes over and rescues her, starting a lengthy chase scene. Players are provided with options to change the direction of the story with a binary choice, and the "wrong" outcome causes the game to reset. For example, if the player doesn't choose to chase the skeevy boss in the car park, the boss will seduce John and they will be a couple.
Alternatively, after the chase, if the player has Jane accept payment to sleep with the boss, John marries Amy and Jane becomes a sex worker. Per the game's box description, Plumbers Don't Wear Ties offers the player "greed, sex, spirituality, white-knuckled chases, shameful propositions, a nun, humor, true love, jaded love, taut action, comedy," and a load of other buzzwords that I can't be bothered to type out.
No one liked this game in 1993 and no one likes it now, so I don't know how it bagged itself a re-release on one of the swishiest consoles out there. Plumbers Don't Wear Ties will be released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, and Nintendo Switch through Limited Run Games in 2021. Knock yourselves out.
Featured Image Credit: United Pixtures, Kirin Entertainment
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