Video games you should never play around your partner

The couple that games together, stays together. That's what relationship counselors and other experts say, at least. Whether you're using your shared love of gaming to break the ice on a first date, meeting up online to make weathering a long-term relationship easier, transforming an innocent video game into something a little more risque, or simply cuddling on the couch with your controllers in-hand, playing games together can be a great way for you and your beau to bond.

Not these games, though. You'll want to play these games while you're alone, preferably with the blinds drawn and the doors locked. They might be fun, but many of them send the wrong message: a few concerns that you're better off not discussing, or a hint at preferences that might be hard to explain. A couple are just, well, gross, so make sure that your partner doesn't catch you with these titles. Otherwise, as far as your relationship is concerned, it's Game Over.

Catherine asks the questions you don't want to answer

Catherine begins with your character, Vincent, waking up from a booze-addled haze next to a buxom blonde named Catherine. The problem? That's not Vincent's girlfriend. Still, ol' Vinny can't seem to help himself, and before long the one-night stand turns into an ongoing fling. By day, you'll need to help Vincent hide his affair. By night, you must guide Vincent as he tries to escape monsters that include a demonic bride, a giant baby, and a sentient butt.

It's all fantastically weird and disturbing, and chances are that your partner won't be thrilled that you're playing a game that teaches you how to cheat and that transforms big relationship into literal nightmares. You're not Vincent, however. His foibles aren't yours, and given the chance, you should be able to explain yourself just fine.

But that's not all that Catherine has up its sleeve. In addition to the game's bizarre take on infidelity, the game also asks you probing personal questions about your views on dating, sex, and long-term commitment. Those answers are all yours. Unless you want your partner to know how you feel on some pretty dicey issues — whether you'd blame yourself or your partner if you have an affair, if you'd sleep with a really sexy ghost, that kind of thing — keep them out of the room while you're playing. Those kinds of things are best left for a private discussion — or, in some cases, kept private. Your partner doesn't need to know everything, after all.

Fable 2 makes you choose between love and money

Fable 2 might be the most adultery-friendly game in existence. As you travel the world of Albion, you're welcome to seduce any men and women that you come across by showering your paramour with gifts, spamming their favorite emotes, and taking them on dates to their favorite locations. It doesn't matter if you're already in a relationship. It doesn't even matter if you're married. There's no limit to how many spouses you can stash away in Albion's cities and villages, and there's no penalty for cheating other than the risk of STDs — so, yeah, when you're cheating, use protection.

Unless you're in an open relationship, you probably don't want your significant other to see you engaging in serial philandering, but that's not what makes Fable II a romance-killer. It's the end of the game that's poses the biggest problem. During Fable II's climax, the villain whacks your husbands, wives, your kids, and your dog. At that point, you have to make a choice: you can bring them all back, you can bring back everyone the big bad killed except for your family, or you can cash out for a giant pile of gold.

Make that decision alone. The last thing you want your partner to know is how easily you'd sell 'em out, 'cause let's be honest: there are other ways to get your dog back and that's too much money to pass up.

Don't let Animal Crossing make real work a chore

If you've ever shared an apartment with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you know that splitting household duties is crucial — and you better make sure that you hold up your end of the bargain. Have you taken out the garbage yet? What about cleaning the dishes, or folding that giant basket of laundry? Did you remember to pick up those groceries, water the plants, or walk the dog?

If you answered "no" to any of those questions, definitely make sure to keep your daily Animal Crossing habit a secret. It's one thing to play video games instead of working. It's another entirely to spend your time doing pretend chores when there are real ones to do. Yes, pulling digital weeds, tending to your virtual garden, and running errands for Animal Crossing's adorably doofy cast is oddly calming, but not everybody gets it. We realize that a couple of days living in filth is a small price to pay for a snazzy shamrock blazer or a cake shaped like a teapot. Your SO, on the other hand, probably won't be so understanding.

Unless your partner is built like a tank, tread away from Panzermadels

Everyone has a type. Maybe you like tall, skinny boys. Maybe you prefer curvy redheads. Maybe beards or glasses drive you wild, or maybe — just maybe — your heart melts for the combination of caterpillar tracks and armor plates.

If that last description sets your heart all aflutter, then Panzermadels is for you. Like in other dating simulators, in Panzermadels casts you as a high school student looking for love. Unlike other dating simulators, in Panzermadels, all of your potential mates are tanks. Oh, they look like regular high school girls, but each student is the personification of a different tank used in World War II. The M4 Sherman, for example, is an-all American tomboy who "would rather be outside on the firing line listening to classic rock" than sitting in class. The German Panzer IV is "is your average teenage tank" who "likes sweets, pop music, and Anschlussing Eastern European nations." We'll stop there, before you get too hot and bothered.

Playing a dating simulator in front of your partner is always a risky proposition, but Panzermadels is more dangerous than most: no matter how your beloved dresses or how hard they work out, they're never going to be a tank. It's just not going to happen. Don't give them body image and self-esteem issues, and keep your love affair with military hardware to yourself. It'll be better for everyone.

There's nothing super about Super Seducer

Let's get this out of the way upfront: Super Seducer is not a good game. Produced and starring Richard La Ruina, a self-proclaimed pick-up artist that even Piers Morgan finds repulsive (and if anyone knows repulsive, it's Piers), Super Seducer: How to Talk to Girls uses live-action video to teach users how to score with attractive women.

That's the idea, anyway. The poor people who've played Super Seducer call it "farcical and disastrous" and "The Room levels of bad." Almost all the situations Super Seducer confront you with are simple multiple choice questions, and not difficult ones — if you don't know that groping a stranger is a bad thing, you need more than help than a mediocre game provides. Much of La Ruina's advice — like planting yourself in front of a woman on the street so that she can't escape, or disparaging your target's boyfriend — ranges from creepy to borderline abusive.

Okay, but say you really need some help with your game. Say you're willing to overlook the way that the pick-up artist scene trades on emotional manipulation, sexual harassment, and dehumanization. If you're already in a committed relationship, why are you playing this? At best, your girlfriend is going to think you're a creep. At worst, she's going to think you're planning on sleeping around — and, honestly, if you're willing to subject yourself to Super Seducer while you've already got a great girl, we can't think of any other reasonable explanation.

Prospective parents beware Who's Your Daddy?

American women are having fewer babies than they used to, but for many couples, settling down and bringing a kid or two into the world is still a big part of the long-term plan. Maybe you and your partner are one of them. If so, don't let your significant other catch you playing Who's Your Daddy?, which is explicitly designed to make you look like the worst parent imaginable.

Who's Your Daddy? is a two-player game in which one person plays the titular daddy, while the other controls his newborn spawn. If you're the dad, your goal is to keep your baby safe. If you're the baby, your job is to make that as hard as possible: Climb into a lit oven. Swallow batteries. Stick a fork in the electrical outlet. Do whatever you can to end your short life as quickly as possible or you're going to lose.

Who's Your Daddy? is all in good, if dark, fun, but don't expect your partner to see it that way. Depending on when he or she walks into the room, your main squeeze is either going to see you feeding bleach to a virtual infant, or failing to stop a virtual infant from eating bleach. Neither is a great look, and they'll make any reasonable human being reconsider whether or not you're really the right person to raise a child with — unless, of course, you're gleefully playing together. In that case, maybe parenting isn't for either of you.

You're playing Evony Online? My lord!

You're forgiven if you don't know what Evony is about. If you've only seen the advertisements, Evony can be hard to figure out. Instead of explaining Evony's medieval fantasy setting or its city building-based gameplay, ads for the game had a very different focus — by which we mean boobs. Lots and lots of boobs.

Yeah, Evony is that game. The one that seemed like it was pretty much everywhere a couple of years ago, with ads starring women decked out in low-cut Renaissance faire garb (which is at least a little bit on brand), stock photos of porn stars, and, ultimately, just straight-up pictures of breasts in lacy lingerie. You've seen the ads. Your partner has, too. They've got absolutely nothing to do with Evony itself, but like they say, sex sells. Two years after launch, Evony's racy ad campaign resulted in over 27 million sign-ups. Sleazy or not, that's a big success.

Of course, as Kotaku notes, Evony doesn't have any sexy women in the game itself — in fact, there aren't really any women in Evony at all. You might be able to get away with enjoying Evony in front of your partner just fine, as long as he or she doesn't ask what the game is called. Once you answer and they realize that you're talking about the boob game? Yeah, you're sunk.

Everybody loves a Dream Daddy

Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator has a dad for everyone. There's Joseph, the "cool youth minister dad" who's great at baking, but doesn't much care for crocks, and who may or may not lead a cult. There's Brian, who's all set to dazzle you with his manly paunch, bristling beard, and award-winning garden. Robert is bad news in all the best ways. Matt is the hipster hunk of your dreams. Craig is a gym rat with twin daughters, while Hugo Vega knows just how to stimulate your … mind.

Dream Daddy is funny, but it's not a joke, and that's key. Sure, minigames like the RPG-style battle that you win by bragging about your daughter do a pretty good job lampooning both dating simulators and the whole daddy meme, but Dream Daddy cast is deeper than it looks. They're not just stereotypes. They're fully fleshed-out characters with their own wants, needs, and flaws, and no matter what your sexual orientation is, you'll probably fall for at least one them.

Most likely, your partner will too. You don't want that to happen. The Dream Daddies are more attractive, smarter, sweeter, and just plain better than you are. If your significant other decides to go all-in with a video game character (hey, it happens), that'll leave you painfully alone. No daddy is worth that. Not even these ones.

If you play Lick, expect a good tongue-thrashing

So, you want to get better at pleasing your partner. That's great! Sexual generosity is crucial for keeping that spark alive, especially in long-term relationships, and science has proved that oral sex has a number of health benefits for both partners, too. It's a win-win.

If you need to bone up on how to go down, there are a number of apps and games out there that can help you refine your techniques, too. One of them is Lick This, a web-based app that "trains your tongue" and makes you a better lover. Here's how it works: first, wrap your phone in plastic wrap. Next, fire up your mobile device's web browser and navigate to lickthisapp.com. Start up the game, and then flick a light switch on and off, turn a crank, or keep a beach ball in the air by flicking your tongue.

With a name like Lick This, what else did you expect? You can't learn if you don't practice, after all, and the whole point of Lick This is to get your mouth muscles used to performing some basic moves. If you want to get better, you'll need to lick your phone. That's why Lick This is a game best played away from your partner's prying eyes. Even if your intentions are good, if you're caught making out with your cellphone, you're going to find yourself single very, very quickly. And then what was the point of all that practice?

Conception II: just don't do it

Despite appearances, there's nothing scandalous about Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars. You're not sleeping with those high school girls you're dating. You're "classmating" with them. You're not swapping fluids or DNA with each other, either. No, you simply exchange magical "ether" by holding hands. Oh, and you're definitely not enlisting your offspring, known as Star Children, into your army and sending them into battle while you explore — oh, wait, never mind. That part is 100% true.

In short, Conception II is like a greatest hits list of everything you don't want your partner to see. A dating simulator starring cute (and mostly underage) anime girls? Yup. Embarrassing psuedo-sex scenes? It's got that too. Bad parenting? Oh, you bet. Obvious sexual innuendo and more than a little fanservice? Take a guess. Besides all that, Conception II practically requires you to sleep — sorry, "classmate" — around if you want to win. The whole thing has more red flags than a communist parade.

Don't get us wrong: Conception II is fun, especially if you like series like Persona and Etrian's Odyssey. If you're in a relationship, however, do not let your date see you play this game. It's phenomenally weird, and will lead to all sorts of questions — and, chances are, your partner will not like the answers. You've been warned.