Version tested: Wii
The problem with trying to outlaw something is you just end up increasing demand. Ask D. H. Lawrence, the author of Spycatcher or anyone who's ever tried to ban Judy Blume's Forever from a girls' comprehensive.
You also end up giving the thing an air of saucy mysteriousness it almost certainly doesn't deserve. Spycatcher is basically about working in the civil service. Forever is about a boy who calls his penis Ralph. Lady Chatterley's Lover is all billowing flanks and primordial tenderness, which is nothing compared to what you can watch women doing with lengths of rubber tubing on the internet these days.
Which brings us to We Dare, the Wii party game Ubisoft thinks is too sexy for the UK. They blamed the decision on our reaction to that advert - you know, the one where chiselled male models spank hot women in tweed skirts and they all laugh like they aren't crying inside because they know the next rung on the ladder is porn.
The good news - or more accurately, for reasons which shall become apparent, the news - is that We Dare is available in the rest of Europe. You can have it delivered from France direct to your door for less than the price of a fun 20 minutes in the Quartier Pigalle.
Eurogamer purchased a copy from Amazon.fr after Ubi mysteriously declined to send us a promo. There is one user review on the retailer's listings page for We Dare, or Petits Flirts Entre Amis as it's titled round those parts.
I don't understand much French, having spent most of my time at school reading Judy Blume's Forever. But I suspect this excerpt probably sums it up: "De plus, la maniabilité est exécrable."
For oui, mon petite coquilles Saint-Jacques, it turns out We Dare does not in fact offer a series of spectacularly enjoyable and arousing experiences which will leave you and your attractive friends rolling half-naked in the aisles.
Incroyable as this may sound, it's just another rubbishy collection of simplistic mini-games. None of them will keep you entertained for more than 48 seconds and all of them are about as erotically charged as an afternoon spent reading out random item numbers from the Argos catalogue.
Perhaps Ubisoft's first mistake (or rather, second, after thinking it's ever a good idea to mix sex and video games) was hiring a crap copywriter. (Although our copy of We Dare came in a French box, the in-game text is presented in English - in fact that's the default setting.)
The mini-games are divided into five ridiculous categories - Enchanting, Persuasive, Naughty, Adventurous and Brainy. Because who hasn't sat around with their friends going, "You know what? I really feel like playing one of those persuasive video games today."
The names and descriptions of the mini-games are similarly laughable. They're called things like Love Storm, Bar Dancing and Like in a Movie. In the Moonlight is explained thus: "When your heart's on fire the smoke's bound to go somewhere, and elegance is the best response." What?
"Follow the mood of this sweet autumn and feel free to move," reads the description for Turn a New Leaf. A more accurate summary would be, "Perform ludicrous dance moves to the beat of some terrible music against a backdrop of some orange trees."
Turn a New Leaf is supposed to be Enchanting, but it reappears in various guises within the other categories. We Dare commits the cardinal but not uncommon sin of pretending to offer dozens of mini-games, when it actually offers about five mini-games wearing slightly different hats.
None of the variations of this particular mini-game are any more fun than the others. There is a certain number of times you can pretend playing an invisible violin and steering an imaginary car is amusing, and that number is one. Being asked to do these things while your avatar stands on a poorly rendered beach instead of in front of some orange trees does not help.
We Dare features several other slightly different but equally pathetic excuses for dancing games. Some of these see you copying avatars as they gyrate around in fantasy settings, such as Parisian rooftops and the theatre at the end of Dirty Dancing, while you listen to appalling cover versions of tracks like I'm Too Sexy and Time of My Life.
Others present a scrolling series of silhouettes you must copy as your avatar dances on some kind of disco catwalk. The appalling cover versions in this set of mini-games vary but the setting never does. Plus they make you endlessly perform the same rubbishy dance moves, just arranged in slightly different orders.
In terms of sophistication, complexity and technical achievement, the dancing games in We Dare are to Just Dance what Matt Cardle's autobiography is to Finnegan's Wake. It's therefore something of a shame that they make up about 75 per cent of what's on the disc.
You could always take an enjoyable break with one of the Brainy games, if your idea of enjoyable is playing a poor quality and mildly offensive rip-off of the original Buzz! title for PS2.
The Battle of the Sexes quiz is just as fresh and forward-thinking as it sounds. Men are given blue questions about Formula One and snooker, while women get pink questions about Jane Austen books and housework ("What is the most common component of dust?").
There are some other quizzes about movies and things, but these are no more entertaining unless you're the kind of person who is intellectually stimulated by being asked who the main character in Sex and the City is or what Twilight's about.
So what of the other games? The funny, sexy ones with the chin rubbing and the spanking and the stripping, as featured in the famous advert? Well, YOU WILL BE AMAZED TO HEAR NO I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE IT EITHER TRULY THIS IS AN HISTORIC DAY, they are rubbish.
The chin rubbing one is called The Big Apple. Two people hold a remote between their faces and try to simultaneously press the A and B buttons three times. I suppose it's got the potential to be sexy if the players really fancy each other and have been drinking pints of sherry for 17 hours. But generally it's weird, difficult and deeply unerotic, much like trying to have actual sex after drinking pints of sherry for 17 hours.
The spanking game is called Never Let Me Down. One player lies across the other's lap with the remote tucked in their waistband. The seated player is supposed to tilt their partner's body to direct his or her avatar through a series of floating rings. Because that's what's wrong with PilotWings, the control system makes far too much sense.
The seated player can spank their partner - or rather, hit the A button on the controller - to make the avatar do a spin in mid-air. This does not appear to affect the final score and is entirely optional. It's not even mentioned in the in-game instructions. And it's about as hilarious and sexually stimulating as you would expect hitting a small white plastic object wedged into the small of someone's back to be.
To play the stripping game, which is titled Who Dares Wins, you need a Wii balance board. Each player steps on the board and is secretly weighed. The game then tells you to remove some items of clothing (without specifying which ones) in a bid to make yourself lighter. You are then weighed again and the winner (i.e. whoever is now lightest) is revealed.
Yes, it has come to this. Following decades of technical innovation and creative exploration in the field of video games, we find the pinnacle of digital entertainment is stepping on a pair of glorified bathroom scales and taking your jumper off. Well done everyone.
So. We Dare does not live up to the promise of sexy adult funtime made by the advert or the box cover or the tagline ("Ce qui se passe dans le jeu reste dans le jeu!" If only). It's not hard to see what PEGI's problem was. But it is hard to see who this game was ever aimed at. The mini-games are far too simplistic, childish and repetitive to entertain grown-ups, even spectacularly smashed ones. And it's not suitable for kids, judging by the 12 rating and the "Accord parental souhaitable" sticker on the box.
As it turns out, the most risque elements of We Dare are the sexy facts which appear on the loading screens. Many of these are cliched ("Oysters are natural aphrodisiacs") while others are just odd ("Feminists are more likely than other women to be in a romantic relationship").
The game could have done without them. The time spent waiting to play a terrible mini-game doesn't pass any faster when you're being told that orgasms release endorphins, or that vibrators were invented in the 19th century as a cure for female hysteria.
None of the actual games seem sexual in tone or unsuitable for children, but I'm not so sure about those loading screens. I doubt I'd be overjoyed if my six year-old came running from a Wii gaming session to ask what an orgasm is ("No idea, ask your father" etc.).
So We Dare isn't an ideal children's party game. Nor is it funny, erotic or challenging enough to entertain adults. It's yet another poor quality collection of low-rent mini-games, most of which are badly executed rip-offs of ancient ideas. It's the least sexy and most pointless thing to come into existence since the Femidom.
Perhaps we should count ourselves lucky this game isn't on our shop shelves. We Dare isn't too sexy, just too... Exécrable.
3 / 10
We Dare is available now for the Wii on mainland Europe only. Thanks to Eurogamer reader Scimac for the excellent tagline.