That a popsicle in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?
WARNING: THIS GAME AND REVIEW INCLUDES ADULT CONTENT. FREEZER POPS IS RATED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
When ya girl gets asked if she wants to review a gay erotic Switch game, ya girl doesn’t dare say no – she straps on her platform heels and gets to werk, henny! But before I regale you with tales from my experience playing eastasiasoft’s latest title, Freezer Pops, (and let me tell you, it was an experience) a disclaimer:
- I am not a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, but I am a fervent ally and have a self-proclaimed “fun” Kinsey scale number.
- All queer community lingo I include in this piece is done so with an academic understanding of and reverence for queer culture and history.
- For maximum enjoyment and understanding, I recommend viewing the following before reading: At least one season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the entirety of Lady Gaga’s music video collection, and arguably the most quoted movie of all time, To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar.
With that out of the way, let us begin!
When I first heard about Freezer Pops, I thought that I might be embarking on a half ‘Diner Dash at the beach’ half ‘Animal Crossing but gayer’-type journey. I imagined gameplay would involve being a shirtless beefcake, selling as many tasty treats to sweaty beachgoers as possible, while putting my memory and speed to the test. Maybe the erotic part would be some sensual ice licking, earning smooches for good customer service…I don’t know – I’m an innocent old woman!
As it turns out though, aside from the presence of popsicles, everything else I thought Freezer Pops would deliver was incredibly, delightfully wrong.
I blame this largely on my own ignorance, as it was only after researching that I realized the game is billed as a “bara visual novel.” For other noobs like me, visual novel games are interactive stories that focus on plot and character development rather than a lot of actionable gameplay, while bara is a genre of gay art that emphasizes masculinity as a core component and typically features characters with varying degrees of muscle and body hair. (Source: www.itch.io) It’s like a kinky choose your own adventure book where the pictures move and you never know when the next mention of “anus” will be. The thrill!
For me, the gameplay itself was suuuuuper boring (“no tea, no shade, no pink lemonade”). I know the simplicity is by design, so partially, this is about personal preference. I have a hard time considering games in this genre as “real” insofar as interactivity and the ability to control characters is, in my mind, what makes a video game a video game. That said, I’m certainly not here to yuck anybody’s yum and if you like this style of game, more power to you. It is important for me to point out, however, that in my limited experience, not all visual novels are created equal - I previously played Don’t Open Your Eyes and found the gameplay far more collaborative and engaging than Pops. Granted, it also made me fear for my life, but that’s neither here nor there.
Part of Freezer Pops’ problem is that it hardly gives you any choices to make – there were maybe 3-5 choices throughout the entire game before the story is completed, and unfortunately, I think there was a translation issue with the dialogue because at least one of the choices I was given didn’t any make sense in English. It also lingered on images for way too long as the story unfolded, and I would have thought the game froze if it weren’t for the scrolling on-screen text.
As for the plot, it was like most pornos: terrible, hilarious and superfluous to what you really wanted to see. To give you the TL; DR version, you are playing as a gay Brazilian game developer, Alexandre, who loses his university scholarship and has an MIA roommate, so he’s stuck paying the entirety of his month’s rent by himself. He decides to sell freezer pops at the beach to make a quick buck and meets several hotties along the way. SPOILER ALERT: He also goes toe-to-toe with a freezer pop mafia lady who is lacing her pops with drugs so beachgoers get addicted to them. This is not supposed to be a joke, but boy, did this turn of events really make me cackle. Upon Alexandre’s discovery of her stash, he exclaims, “My gaga, this is definitely not sugar!”
I die. On a positive note, I give Freezer Pops 10s across the board for hilariously bad dialogue that is a guaranteed mood booster. In fact, because I so fully believe in the power of words, I’ll share some of my favorite lines to brighten your day:
- “My balls are aching with lust.”
- “Our boners find one another.”
- “Gaga, your son is ready for this blessing.”
- “I thought you already knew I’m good with a joystick.”
While these quotes aren’t exactly To Wong Foo level, they’re stuck in my memory for the foreseeable future along with the name of the fake video game they play (how meta) called “Gay Kart 69.” Not very inventive, but something about it still feels so right. All this helps make up for the extreme overuse of the phrase “oh my Gaga” and some really jarring tonal transitions - one moment we’re playfully discussing daydreams of marriage, the next minute we’re talking about fingering asses. What an emotional roller coaster!
I do think it was a good call to make Alexendre a vers (he’s cool with topping and bottoming), so we get to experience both sides of the coin, and every once and a while I was surprised that I felt some faint tingling in my undercarriage despite the absurdity of it all – but it was often quickly squashed by A) abrupt changes to cheesy porn music whenever the nasty was about to occur B) terrible mid-coitus proclamations like, “Didn’t you ask for this, you bastard?!” C) the squishy cartoon cream pie sound effect after every climax. Nothing makes me hotter than sex noises reminiscent of Double Dare.
I still have lingering plot questions, like how did Alexandre never notice he lived in a bustling community full of hot zaddies until now? How can he afford to live in such a rich neighborhood when he’s trying to pay his bills with popsicles? Does anyone actually think a peanut butter ice pop sounds good?
I pray to the pop divas and Victoria Invicta for clarity. In the meantime, by the power vested in me, by me, I give this game a rating of “Go back to Party City, girl!”
Nintenho's writing has been featured in The Morning Call, Men’s Journal magazine, They Call Us feminist lit mag & more. When not writing or gaming, you can often find Nintenho marching the streets for social justice or staring lovingly into the eyes of her French Bulldog, Nessie.